The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV
2 Corinthians was written by the apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. He cared deeply for the Corinthians and even spent 18 months with them, teaching them. He writes this letter to encourage the church and inform them that the church in Jerusalem is suffering from a famine. He informs the Corinthians that he will soon visit them and collect a financial contribution to the relief efforts.
In today’s passage, Paul argues that charitable giving is fundamental to the Christian life. Using a farming illustration, he says, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” While this is not a blanket guarantee of financial prosperity, it does point to the general principle we see throughout Scripture: God blesses generosity! We can be confident that as we give cheerfully, God continues to sustain us and provide for our needs. And the attitude with which we should give: cheerfully, not under compulsion.
Sacrificial charity is the appropriate response to the gospel—God’s sacrificial love for us. And although Paul is asking them to contribute money, the principle of sacrifice goes farther than finances. Regardless of your season of life, giving isn’t something you do from obligation, it is the proper response to God’s gift to us: eternal life in Jesus Christ. Having received this gift, we also give, and the Lord loves a cheerful giver. Freely we have received… freely we should give. And may the manner with which you give, honor the God whom you serve!