The Joy of Generosity
Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly,
because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord.
1 Chronicles 29:9
Researchers tell us there’s a link between generosity and joy: those who give their money and time to others are happier than those who do not. This has led one psychologist to conclude, “Let us stop thinking about giving as a moral obligation, and start thinking of it as a source of pleasure.”
While giving can make us happy, I question whether happiness should be the goal of our giving. If we are only generous to people or causes that make us feel good, what about the more difficult or mundane needs requiring our support?
The Bible links generosity with joy too, but on a different level. After giving his own wealth towards building the temple, King David invited the Israelites to also donate (1 Chronicles 29:1-5). The people responded generously, giving gold, silver, and precious stones joyously (v 6-8). But notice what their joy was over: “The people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord.” (v 9). The Bible never tells us to give because it will make us happy but to give willingly and wholeheartedly to meet a need. Joy often follows.
As missionaries know, it can be easier to raise funds for evangelism than for administration because believers in the Lord Jesus like the feeling of funding front-line work. Let us be generous towards other needs as well. After all, Jesus freely gave Himself to meet our needs (2 Corinthians 8:9). Bible Reading
1 Chronicles 29:1–9.
Father God, thank You for the joy found in giving. Give me a willing heart to be generous towards even those needs that are difficult or ordinary. Amen.