The blessing of generous giving
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Paul pointed out from the text that one does not withhold sowing in order to keep a good supply of grain for himself. To do so would be poor stewardship—in expressing God’s love as well as in agriculture. The farmer who does not use his seed will lose it. There is a relationship between sowing and reaping. Abundant sowing makes it possible for generous harvesting. And generous giving will not hurt the self. The first century believers were familiar with Paul’s used of agricultural terms. First-century farmers took part of their harvest each year and set it aside for seed for the next season. The rest they used for food. Wouldn’t it have been foolish for a farmer to set aside only a meager supply for seed so that he could have more food to supply his immediate needs? He might have eaten well for a while, but then he could only “sow sparingly” the next year and would not have enough come harvest. Or wouldn’t it have been foolish for a farmer to refuse to plant all the seed he had set aside for sowing because to do so would mean that he now had no seed in the storage bin? A farmer with faith in God would put his last seed in the ground, knowing that only as he did would that seed be blessed and would the fruit of it be a blessing to many others. And the Christian with faith in God knows that immediate gratification and having a reserve supply are not as important as providing for the needs of God’s kingdom. However, the blessings of reaping come not just by right actions—sowing seed—but also by right attitudes. Now, how does this translate into daily life? How do these thoughts unravel themselves to become meaningful parts of our lives? For Paul, this attitude of generosity was born out of his gratitude to God’s gift. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (v. 15). He referred to God’s gift of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ as “indescribable gift.” That gift spotlights Jesus Christ. He gave all that He had. He didn’t just give away something; He gave himself first to us. His giving was an act of grace on His part. It was a generous gift. God did not give it grudgingly. He gave generously. God’s giving did not make Him poor. His gift supplies our needs for salvation. All of our giving and serving should rest upon our gratitude to God for His “indescribable gift.” It is an indescribable gift because all the words in the world cannot exalt the greatness of what God has done for us in Christ and what God continues to do for us.
Noel De Guzman