In 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, it says, “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”.
So God loves a cheerful giver, but did you know that giving makes YOU cheerful too?
There was a study done by the University of Chicago (https://news.uchicago.edu/story/joy-giving-lasts-longer-joy-getting) where researchers conducted 2 studies. In one experiment, participants received five dollars every day for five days; they were required to spend the money on the exact same thing each time. The researchers randomly assigned participants to spend the money either on themselves or on someone else, such as by leaving money in a tip jar at the same cafe or making an online donation to the same charity every day. The participants reflected on their spending experience and overall happiness at the end of each day. The data showed a clear pattern: Participants started off with similar levels of self-reported happiness, and those who spent money on themselves reported a steady decline in happiness over a five-day period. But happiness did not seem to fade for those who gave their money to someone else. The joy from giving for the fifth time in a row was just as strong as it was at the start.
A bunch of years ago, we were struggling financially, trying to make it as a young family of 6 living on a youth pastor’s salary and a church member gave us a significant amount of money to put toward a minivan, they essentially paid half and we paid half. Of course, our first instinct was to refuse this huge gift but my husband said, “we don’t want to rob anyone of the JOY of giving”. I didn’t realize it then, but as much joy as I had in driving the new-to-us van, the joy the gift-givers got was so much more.
At our radio station, we offer weekly prompts you can find under the “Best Day Ever Calendar” at https://joy99.com/best-day-ever/
It’s not necessarily that we want you to have the best day ever every day, but to do small things to help other have a great moment in their day. To give generously, not reluctantly or under compulsion. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver.