2Co 9:5-7 “Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
We sometimes think we are prepared for something, only to have the deadline creep up on us. We plan to give something at a certain time (whether money, service, etc.) only to look at the calendar and think “Oh, no! Was that today?” Paul wanted to be sure that the church at Corinth was not caught unawares concerning the sending of their bounty to Jerusalem, even though they had already planned and laid aside.
It was with out of Paul’s concern for the welfare of the brethren at Corinth that he sent Titus and his companions on ahead. In Paul’s heart, he felt it needful to encourage them to arrive early to gather what the saints had laid aside. He knew they had purposed the year before (2 Corinthians 9:2) to do this thing. However, he did not want them to be caught in that “was that today?” mode.
Paul had been very careful to make sure they knew of this situation ahead of time so that it would not prove a hardship to them. We all realize that there are some things that take us unexpectedly and we just have to deal with it the best that we can. That was not the case here, however. It should be clear to us in this that procrastination was not something that Paul approved of.
The scripture is clear here that our giving should be a matter of generosity rather than requirement. Paul likens giving unto sowing seed. We all understand that we cannot put one grain of corn in the ground and expect to have a harvest that will allow us put enough corn in the freezer to last through the winter. In order to have a bountiful harvest, we must be generous with the seed we put in the ground.
There is an extremely important principle here when it comes to giving. Our giving should be with purpose. We need to be as determined to give when it comes to the church as we are to pay our utility bills. It should be a part of our planning as good stewards of the Lord’s bounty.
An opportunity to give for the welfare of the saints should be something we welcome. It should not be done with resentment. We should never have to be compelled or shamed into giving. God loves a cheerful giver because He gives to us cheerfully.
May we give according to the blessings God has bestowed upon us; not sparingly but with great generosity!