Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 7-9
For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has -- not according to what one does not have. 2 Corinthians 8: 12 NRSV
Are you eager to put your money into the collection plate?
My guess is that you are not.
The most we feel when the check or cash goes into the collection plate is, "Phew! That's over with! I've done my part!" We may even feel a bit virtuous. What will the person counting the money think of our gift? Won't they be impressed with our generosity! I wonder how much more I've given than others.
I get caught up in the later thought. I remember one time my husband, who is also a pastor, mention to me that at his church we were one of the biggest givers. We do our best to give 10% but I don't think we have the largest income. Although this speaks volumes about what other are giving or not giving, we don't need to get stuck on our own virtue. Paul says what counts is the eagerness to give, not the amount. And certainly not in comparison with what others give.
If everyone were eager to give, then everyone would be tithing. If everyone were eager to give, there would not be panic with your church's financial committee. If everyone were eager to give, no one would be trying to compare themselves with others or think more highly of themselves than they ought to think.
How eager will you be when that collection plate comes around on Sunday?
God, give us eagerness to give. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims