2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
“God loves a Cheerful giver; give it all you’ve got!”
As I read this scripture passage, the phrase “for God loves a cheerful giver” lept out and took me back some 55 years to my primary school years to a song we learnt – “God loves a Cheerful giver, give it all you’ve got!”
It is here, now in this memory, I sit. What is the underlying message in this phrase, and what was Paul’s message to the church in Corinth? What is the message to us today? I believe the challenge is to look at ourselves and the God-given talents we have been gifted with and to use them to mirror Him to others.
Put simply; God gifts us the talents to achieve the very things he loves. He provides us with all we need so that we might give cheerfully and feel good about it. The more we give, the greater the gift of grace we receive, and so the better we feel.
In 2015, while in Iona, I read an article about a Scotsman, Eric Liddell, born of missionary parents in China. He was one of the lead characters in the movie Chariots of Fire. Liddell loved running. He said, “I believe that God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Personally, the message is loud and clear for me. I feel it almost every day of my working week. That is, when I/we use the talents, we have been gifted with for the purpose God intends, we feel alive, energised or as Liddell states, “we feel His pleasure.” Liddell was made to run; we have been made to give, made new in Christ (2Cor5:17)
In summary, we will be cheerful givers when we receive pleasure in giving. This is, I believe what Paul’s message is about, along with the understanding that God gifts us with grace, to achieve the very thing that he loves. Paul urges the Corinthian church to support those less fortunate than themselves, and, he turns to Jesus as their example. In Jesus, we see the cheerful giver epitomised.
Their call as ours to discipleship is to mirror Him in our giving. As the great Reformation Protestant theologian said, “For as we are not born for ourselves merely, so a Christian ought neither to live to themself nor lay out what they have, merely for their own use.”
“I believe that God made us for a purpose, ……. when we give, we feel His pleasure! “ For God loves a cheerful giver!
Michael Schiano has been a member of St. Brigid’s parish since 1990. As a parish member, he has served on the Parish Pastoral Council, Liturgy Committee, and Bereavement Team and is a member of the Passionist Companions. He has been an educator in the Archdiocese and has held positions in middle management and executive leadership positions. He currently works in Aged Care in the roles of Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator at Brigidine House, Randwick; St. Anne’s Hunters Hill; and Chaplaincy, Pastoral Care Officer at Calvary Ryde.