Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
2 Corinthians 9:7
It was an awkward email to read. A pastor I have known for over a decade wrote and asked to be removed from our mailing list. He was offended that a recent email had included a link recipients could use to make an online gift. He liked receiving our email newsletter so he could stay informed of what was going on in our area, but he did not want to be asked to give. I responded with appreciation for his past partnership and assured him I would remove him from the list. The following day a letter arrived from a couple I had met a few years ago at a meeting. I had not seen them in several years but we corresponded several times a year via letter. Their letter included an incredibly generous gift and a note thanking me for providing an opportunity for them to give. They also requested that I let them know about specific needs they might be able to help with in the future.
The contrast between the two notes reminds me of how the grace of giving works. For some people, giving is reluctant, done out of duty, and often results in the smallest gift that still feels respectable. For others, giving is a cheerful experience. It brings joy and happiness because the givers know their gift is making a difference for the Gospel. They rejoice in knowing they were able to join God in His mission.
In the two examples I gave, for one, giving was merely a duty, and perhaps not a duty that was enjoyable or fulfilling. For the other, it was an honor and privilege to give, and they excelled in the grace of giving.
What I find amazing about people who excel at the grace of giving, is that they are often not the ones who have the most to give. They may not have a lot of excess to give, but what they have, they give freely and with great joy. Their level of giving often exceeds what is normal for people in their income bracket. Those with a heart to give find deep fulfillment and purpose in giving. Praise God for them!
As the person responsible for overseeing a small army of missionaries seeking to reach a spiritually barren region of the nation, I pray often for God to raise up cheerful givers that He can use to fund the army of missionaries I lead. Could you be one of those givers? If so, send me an email at email@example.com and I can share ways you can excel in the grace of giving. God is doing a great work in our region of the nation. I am never embarrassed to invite others to join in His mission through prayer, volunteering and through the grace of giving.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of New England. He has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: