2 Corinthians 8:12
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
One day I gave 86 cents in change from the bottom of my purse for a visiting missionary. I gave it with great joy, because I was in a difficult financial situation. Even though it wasn’t much, I had found a way to give.
God invites us all, regardless of our resources, to be involved in His work. He gives us many ways to join Him in that work. One of those ways is through finances. Tithing is a part of God’s provision to sustain the work of ministry. Then there are additional offerings, freely given for one purpose or another.
God has everything He needs, but we have a need to give. God delights in our giving. What parent doesn’t have some sticks or a rock, or some random toy tucked away in a special place—reminders of a precious moment when a small child offered their treasure?
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul writes about an offering from the Macedonian church to assist believers in Jerusalem. This was not a wealthy church. In fact, Paul refers to their “extreme poverty.” This offering was a true gift. It wasn’t given with compulsion or out of obligation, but rather from hearts overflowing with joy and generosity.
The secret to a willing and generous heart is near the end of the passage. Paul writes, “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
Why do we give? Because we belong and we are loved. Giving is an expression of who we are as children of God.