"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7
I am blessed to work for a company that hands out a yearly bonus. I worked in retail for years and a bonus was unheard of, and the most they gave employees was their choice of a movie in Blu-Ray. When I first began with my employer, I was enthralled by the bonus and had it spent before I even received it. The bonus typically comes out in March, and I always have my eye on something I would like. Work encourages us to save it, so I allow Rebekah to handle it so it does not burn a hole in my pocket.
We tithe on my bonus as it is a gift from God, and our tithe check that week is bigger than usual because of it. One year in particular, we wrote the tithe check and were glad to give it as God had blessed us. I had forgotten all about it until months had passed and I was getting ready for church on a Sunday morning. Many of my dress shirts are blue in color in some form or another, but I decided to pick a dress shirt I had not worn in a while.
I put the shirt on and noticed there was a piece of paper in my pocket. I reached in there and found a check, which was quite unusual. I am used to finding a dollar bill in my winter coat, but never a check in my pocket. I thought Rebekah may have put the recent tithe check in there, but couldn‘t figure out how would she know which dress shirt I would wear. I decided to take a closer look at the check and found it was oddly dated in March and the amount written on it was more than usual. I slowly realized that I did not put that bonus tithe check in the offering, but it was still safely in my pocket. I am ashamed to say, but I wrestled with what to do next.
God knew I had a cheerful heart when the check was written and now that time had past, I hoped He would understand me not putting it in the offering now. The bonus money was well spent, and my previous cheerful heart was now contemplating how cheerful I wanted to be with God's money. I showed Rebekah and she was much more spiritual than I and did not hesitate to tell me where the check should go. I knew she was right but it still stung a little bit, and I was not as cheerful as I should have been. I forgot God's goodness, and I forgot how all that I have belongs to Him anyway. I changed my heart and cheerfully put that check in the offering plate that Sunday morning. I did not receive a call from the church office concerning the past date, and it cashed with no problem. God does not want us to give grudgingly to Him, but He wants to give with a cheerful heart, a heart that is grateful for all that He has done, and a heart that recognizes that God is good all the time.
James 1:17 states, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Are you a cheerful giver or do you dread having to give God what is rightfully His? Do you realize that all good and perfect gifts come from above? Do you realize that He is the source of our income and that He owns everything anyway? May we cheerfully head into the church house as we give our tithes and offerings to Him, and may we remember that He is the One who sustains us. It is true that we cannot outgive God, so may we give with a cheerful heart as we know that is what God loves.
Stay in the fight!