Matters of Faith: Why Do It?

20161113_JLRussellBy Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (NLT)

Paul writes this epistle to give instruction to the Corinthian church. He tells a story about a pair of farmers, one who planted a few seeds, and the other who planted bountifully. One worked leisurely while the other worked tirelessly; one got a small crop, the other had plenty. In order to give, you have to have something to give. The implication in this story is that giving requires work and is reciprocated. There is no such reality as getting something for nothing.

When the decision has been made to give, be prepared to work. Once the ability to give has been acquired, a second decision has to be made; what will you give? What you give is the blessing that you are handing out to another, and the reciprocity is what you will reap in return for your generosity.

In the gospel of Luke 6:38 Jesus was sharing The Beatitudes and tells His disciples to, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” The giver always has the prerogative of giving as much or as little as desired. That decision will determine the measure of the blessing that will be returned. Paul elaborates and says it’s more than just the gift…, it’s the attitude of the giver that matters most. If you decide to give but really do not want to give, why do it? A complaining, ungrateful, ungracious giver…, who wants that? Paul says that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. He loves those who give because they want to, not because they are coerced or grudgingly. When you give cheerfully, there is a blessing coming your way and there is nothing you can do about it.

Perhaps it would serve us to check our giving barometer. Is our giving driven by our feelings of guilt, out of necessity, or even grudgingly? Perhaps we can work on our motivation for giving and begin to give willingly and cheerfully. I believe that this is a key to a better life, a better community, and a better world. Why do it… we do it because God loves a cheerful giver!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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