Cheerful Giving

Susan Medenblik Kooima

READ : 2 Corinthians 9

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (v. 7)

Picture this: in Nigerian churches, when it is time for the offering to be received, the congregation often dances down the aisle. It is perhaps the most exciting part of the service! The choir sings, the band plays a rousing hymn, and the members of the congregation get up row by row—shimmying and dancing down the center aisle—to place their money in an offering plate at the front of church. Sometimes, if the offering does not bring in enough money, the pastor calls for another one. And again, the congregation dances up the aisle to give even more.

The Lord loves a cheerful giver, and at least judging by outward appearances, Nigerians enjoy giving. Even though most of these people have very little to give, they joyfully dance down the aisle to the collection plate.

Perhaps more North American congregations should dance, sing, clap their hands, and praise God during the offering. Or, if we’re still a bit too uncomfortable for that, we can at least inwardly express our heartfelt, joyful thanks to God as we put our money in the plate.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, give us a spirit of generosity. May we always be cheerful givers, and help us to remember that everything we have and own comes from you alone.