When it comes to giving, many people seem to give God the leftovers. They get to services on Sunday morning and they look to see what cash they happen to have left in their wallet, then they decide how much of it they’ll need for later. It’s only after doing such that they decide to give what is left to God. Christians should not be like this. Paul praised the churches of Macedonia for the way they gave (II Corinthians 8:1-5). All can learn from their example.
- They gave liberally. They knew what was important: putting God first (see Matthew 6:33). They gave as much as they possibly could, even more than Paul thought they could possibly afford. Giving liberally means that they gave freely, in excess.
- Secondly, they gave joyfully. Instead of feeling like it was something demanded of them or feeling like they were being guilted into it, they were happy to give (see II Corinthians 9:7).
- They gave out of love. They gave with great joy because the money given was going to help brothers and sisters in need. This shows the amount of love that they had for their fellow Christians.
- They gave out of their poverty. Like the widow who gave the two mites (all that she had), these Christians did not worry about using the money on themselves. They gave until it hurt, and then gave some more. There are those today who do their budget and after all the bills are paid, they look to see how much they’re going to give God. Giving to God should come first.
What is the result of their giving so freely and without putting themselves first? God sustained them, making sure they did not go without those things they needed. God bestowed blessings upon them (II Corinthians 8:1). No matter how much we give, God is able and ready to bless us above what we have given. Like king David said, “I have been young and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
Compare yourselves to the Christians in Macedonia and see how you measure up.