The Principles of Biblical Giving: Three Principles.
In II Corinthians 8 and 9, Paul gives three principles of cheerful giving and lists the qualities of a good steward. Paul challenges the Church at Corinth to give generously like the churches did in Macedonia that gave out of their joy.
Here are the three principles:
- Give first to God and then to others (2 Cor. 8:5 esv).
When you observe both the Old and New Testament the Bible is very clear that we must give to God first. We give out of what God has blessed us with. Therefore, we should not expect anything from God or others as we give.
2. Do not give reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Cor. 9:7).
In other words, do not give unwillingly. To give unwillingly means to give without wanting to give or to give with a clenched fist. Additionally, to give unwillingly means to give with a fear of where the money will go or who will take it instead of trusting Christ with the gift you are giving. We should give only what Christ has placed on our hearts as to avoid giving reluctantly or under compulsion.
3. Give Cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7).
Instead of giving reluctantly or under compulsion, we are called to be cheerful givers. As Christians, we are called to give without a clenched fist or fear of where God wants to use His money. Giving cheerfully will make us generous in long haul and will free us from becoming stingy. This is important because when anyone has a clenched fist, he is a slave to his money. God says we can only serve one master. So, cheerful giver, who will be the master over your money? You or God?
All in all, being a cheerful giver requires a heart that is generous and willing to sacrifice.