In the first part of this series, we described giving as an act of transferring possession of something abstract, or concrete (tangible) to another. We also said that the purpose of giving is to improve the lives of others.
Giving is one avenue which God has chosen to multiply what we have. Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38 KJV). Through our giving, men are directed and made to give us increased proportions of what we have hitherto given to others.
Even though giving is a channel of blessing, the manner in which it is carried out will determine whether the outcome of the action will result in a blessing or otherwise. This is because when it comes to giving, the attitude of the heart and the motives with which a person gives influence the outcome of the action.
In the first part of the series, we outlined some inner conditions for giving well. Now, we would look at conditions (of the heart and mind) that are not appropriate for giving.
Conditions Not Appropriate For Giving
1. Don’t give when you are being forced or threatened to give.
“Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP). I have noticed that time and again in churches and other meetings where ministers attempt to force people to give. This is not proper. The verse we just quoted says God’s people should give what they have decided in their hearts to give and should not give under compulsion. In other words, they should not be forced to give what they are not willing to give. The Word goes on to say that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’. By saying this, it implies that God doesn’t like it when people give under compulsion. In the same vein, God’s people should not be compelled to give with threats. I have seen ministers tell people to ‘give or else such and such evil thing will occur in your life’. This is also wrong. God delights in the one whose heart is in his gift; not in the giver who is full of the fear of evil. If ever you feel threatened or forced to give, know that it is not a good time or moment to give. Wait for a moment or opportunity where you can give thoughtfully and with purpose as the Word prescribes.
2. Don’t give sparingly or scantily.
“Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].” (2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP). Giving that is sparing or scanty is: not notable, not much, not noticeable, not substantial. Though the Scripture does not explicitly say to avoid this kind of giving, it does not recommend it. This is because of the kind of scanty result this kind of giving results in. God knows that His children will not be pleased by scanty gifts or rewards. Scanty giving results in scanty rewards. If you have ever felt insulted on account of receiving a scanty gift, you will understand why you shouldn’t give in this manner.
3. Don’t give grudgingly.
“Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP). A person who gives grudgingly displays reluctance or unwillingness to give which is usually coupled with mild levels of anger. God does not accept this kind of giving.
4. Don’t give sorrowfully.
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG). Sorrow is in direct contrast with cheerfulness. Since God loves a cheerful giver, we can safely imply that he hates sorrowful giving.
5. Don’t give under constraint, duty, duress or pressure.
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG). Do you feel like your arm is being twisted by a minister to give? Curb this by preparing your offering at home before going to church or the cell meeting. God wants our hearts to be protected from this kind of giving because it does not result in blessings.
6. Don’t give to be seen by men.
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” (Matthew 6:1-4 MSG). No comments. I believe these words of Jesus in the sixth chapter of St. Matthew’s gospel have explained it well enough.