Today’s Truth

“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I grew up in a family whose finances were, let’s say, “slim.” On occasion, our church congregation would unexpectedly leave a box of much needed groceries at our front door or step in and pay our mortgage in times when we fell behind.

When I was four years old, my father was involved in a near-death auto accident which totaled our family’s only vehicle. I remember the day when Mr. Mitchell, one of the beloved elders of our church, came by to visit after my dad had healed. He handed my father the keys to one of his own cars. My father was extremely reluctant to accept such a generous gift. Sensing this, Mr. Mitchell said, “Joe, do you have a dollar?”

“A dollar, I have,” my dad replied.

Mr. Mitchell held out his hand with a broad smile on his face and said that was the exact price of the car!

What I didn’t realize back then as a child, but now recognize full well, is that I was being taught—first hand—the grace of giving that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Today’s Truth.

“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV).

Paul was imploring the people of God to sow their riches generously into the lives of their more needy brothers and sisters—for both parties’ benefit! In chapter nine of the same letter, Paul further encourages the Corinthian church goers with this passage:

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:6-11, NIV).

The benefits of the grace of giving really do flow in both directions. Please let me be clear; what Paul is NOT teaching is some kind of prosperity gospel (sow some $ and you’ll reap more $). Rather, when Paul says of the giver: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can “in every way.”

What might these earthly riches (seeds to sow) look like? I believe they include the sharable riches of one’s peace, joy, time, talents, giftings, physical helps, wisdom, emotional strength, encouragement, and, of course, tangible and monetary gifts.

We have all been on the receiving end of the grace-filled giving when Jesus gave His perfect life in exchange for our sin-riddled soul. He graciously gave us the gift of salvation which none of us deserve or ever earn.

My dad drove that car for many years, but Mr. Mitchell’s example of grace-filled giving will last a lifetime.

How might you be the reason someone offers thanksgiving to God today?

Let’s Pray

Oh, Gracious Giver, forgive me for the times I had something to offer and held back. Going forward, help me seek creative and abundant ways to sow the seeds of the sharable riches You’ve given me into others’ lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn: What sharable riches do you have to sow into the lives of others? If you’re feeling like you’ve been less-than-your-generous-best in the past, what do you think has held you back? What change in mindset can you ask the Lord for so that you can sow out of your abundance and harvest a truckload of righteousness in the process?

More from the Girlfriends

The holidays are a time when we tend to eat more than usual! I’m guilty as charged. But if you’re wanting to get a handle on what goes in your body, and why you choose it, check out my book, Overcoming Overeating: It’s Not What You Eat, It’s What Eats You . Your body will thank you!

© 2020 by Lisa Morrone. All rights reserved.

5 Responses to “The Grace of Giving”

  1. Pam says:

    I appreciate the message of the joy of giving, November 27. I love the “be the person someone gives thanks for”! And I also love that the people who helped you out were largely members of your church! If your parents hadn’t had the wisdom to make church a significant part of your family life, you wouldn’t have experienced that joy of community! What a wonderful, secondary message!

    God bless you all at GiG this holiday season, and your readers as well!

  2. Judy says:

    This message reminds me so much of this past Sunday’s Sunday school message. Both were about someone giving a car to someone who needed it. Its shows me that we all have something to give someone in need, perhaps not a car or anything in that amount but we ca still give. That is my reason for donating to various charities and I look forward to giving Tuesday. It’s not the size of the gift but the size of the heart that is important.

  3. Abby says:

    Hellos just wanted to reply to this. Honestly I feel that God has blessed nothing. ( him,still working, roof over head). Hubby and I dont get blessed like other people. No matter how hard I pray, talk to God .i feel like He don’t answer prayers. Just seems like one thing after another ( finances, appliances, truck, my health, my small online business. Just same thing different day. Can’t be a blessing to others.

  4. Debora says:

    Hi Abby! I’ve learned that I can’t compare my life to others. Other people have crosses to bear that we can’t see. Each day look for the small things God blesses you with and be thankful for them. Remember that even a smile will bless someone.
    You will be in my prayers. Love and hugs from a sister in Christ. 💗🌹

  5. Kate says:

    Hi Abbey, I hear you, life has been tough for so many this year. On top of that sometimes we all go through times when everything seems to go wrong at once, like you say, one thing after another. When this happens it seems harder to see what God is doing. BUT …. (and I’m very grateful for that word) “BUT”….God is still God, and He loves you more than you can imagine even if you don’t feel it and can’t see it. Sit quietly and receive His love, and listen to Him speaking deep in your heart. May God bless you and your family. x

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8