ME

A GENEROUS ATTITUDE

THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS GENEROSITY

I once heard someone say, “God loves a cheerful giver, but He will take it from a grump too.” I wonder. I believe our attitude is important and there are two types of attitudes that we must confront to be cheerful givers like our heavenly Father: a selfish heart and a grieving heart.

  • Deuteronomy 15:9-10 (NIV) 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10  Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

In this verse God clearly labels selfish thoughts as wicked. Selfishness whispers that we won’t have enough or that God won’t be faithful to meet our needs if we give. God says, “Don’t allow your heart to think that way.” We are all selfish. The default condition of the human heart is to hoard and avoid sharing with anyone. We are completely and utterly self-absorbed from birth. Then a loving, heavenly Father comes to us and says, “I want to deal with this wicked, selfish heart and make you a giver. I want to make you like Me.”

In Deuteronomy 15, after addressing the fact that we have a selfish heart, the second thing it says we have to deal with when it comes to giving is a grieving heart. God instructs us not to grieve after we’ve been obedient in giving. Selfishness can attack us before we give, but grief can attack us after we give.

Have you ever had buyer’s remorse? Maybe you spent a lot of money on something such as a car or house, and after the excitement of the moment wore off, you experienced that panicky “what-have-I-done” feeling. As a result of this phenomenon, many of the items purchased on impulse are returned the following day.

Something similar can happen when you’ve been obedient to give as the Holy Spirit prompts. This often happens because people feel pressured to give rather than giving because it’s their heart’s desire. That means you have to guard your heart, not only before you give but afterward, as well.

So, how do you combat grief? You do it with a proper perspective regarding “your” money.

Remember the example of the $100 bill?

A pastor stopped in the middle of the sermon and asked for $100. A man quickly jumped up and gave a $100 bill to the pastor. After a few moments the pastor explained to the congregation that prior to the service he had given the money to the man and asked him to play along.

The man was quick to give the money to the pastor because it was the pastor’s money to begin with. He didn’t experience grief, remorse, or emotional conflict about giving the money. Why? Because he knew it wasn’t his.

 

This illustration shows us exactly how we should steward the money God has given us. The truth is everything we have is God’s, and when we know that in our hearts, we won’t feel any grief when we give. Instead, we will feel joy and gratitude knowing God has blessed us so much that we can bless others.

(From an article by Robert Morris)

 

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for reminding me that everything I have is Yours. Help me to handle my money as a steward, not an owner, so that selfishness and grief do not keep me from being a cheerful giver.