2 Corinthians 9:6–8 (NASB95)
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
Jesus talked to the Pharisees about how they tithe their little spice plants out of obedience to the law (and so that they looked good to themselves and others) but ignored the “weightier” matters of the law (love, mercy, forgiveness, . . .).
After learning from Pastor Andrew Farley I see myself walking in the Pharisees’ path instead of Jesus’. I have been tithing under compulsion, because of the blessings and curses found in Malachi, not because I am a “cheerful giver.” I have even written posts about tithing and encouraged my sons to tithe.
Jesus wants me to give the way he gives: liberally, extravagantly, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing. Jesus doesn’t give to me because he will reward himself if he does and curse himself if he doesn’t. He gives to me because he LOVES ME. He is filled with “hilarity” (root word of “cheerful”) when he gives to me.
I have prayed to give with hilarity and God has granted my request. The first time I gave with hilarity my wife and I gave to friends of ours who were in a difficult financial spot. I was filled with hilarity . . . and love, for God who enabled us to give, and for my friends who were crying they were so happy at what God had done for them.
That kind of joy I have never received by following the law and giving 10% of my income motivated by blessings and curses.
Instead, Jesus calls us to hilarity. And he has promised to supply an abundance for us to give.