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"Cheerful Giving Is Contagious"

2 Corinthians 9:2

By Drew Zuverink

"For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achai were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action."

You might want to read all of chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians in order to get the full story of what is happening in our passage for today but I'll give a short summary. The apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian church again about how generous they had been in their giving. He thanks them and encourages them to keep up the good work and then he goes on to say in verse 2 of chapter 9 that he has been bragging to the church in Macedonia about how generous the Corinthian people are. He says all sorts of cool things about the Corinthians in chapter 8 and 9 like, "The goal isn't for you to give so much that you are poor and the people that you give to become rich, the goal is that the one who gathered much did not have too much and the person who gathered little didn't have too little." The goal is to help people who really need it. Paul thanks them for their eagerness to do that. Then he tells them that their enthusiasm has stirred others into actions. What he means is that when he was off with other people in Macedonia bragging about how generous the people of Corinth were, it was contagious to the Macedonian's and so they became eager and excited to give as well.

It is so true that generosity is contagious. There is something about being around someone who is so willing and eager to share that makes us want to do the same thing. In the context of our verse it meant eagerness to give financially but all sorts of generosity is contagious. Being around people who are happy to share their time or their attentions or even happy to share their home with others, can be contagious. This is because goodness and love and righteousness are very attractive things and so they appeal to something deep within us. There are just some people in this world who are so pure, so innocent, so kind and loving that after we leave their presence we want to become more like them.

Nobody has ever had this kind of affect on people like Jesus has. When we spend time reading about Jesus' life and how he acted don't we sometimes sit back and think, "Wow do I want to become more like that." Jesus was so gentle, so wise, so present with other people, so unwilling to think selfishly because he wanted to be a part of something bigger - something special. All of those things are contagious.

Well Paul says that the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and whether that be our money or something else, he also says that it's contagious. Those are two great reasons for us to be people who share cheerfully and generously with other people who are hurting all over the world. First, because when we share with the needy, and when we do so because we are excited to do so, the Lord loves that. So our primary reason to help other people is because it pleases God. Making God happy with how we act makes us happy. The second reason to give cheerfully and generously is that it could cause other people to give cheerfully and generously as well.

Imagine how this could spread. Imagine how many hurting people could be helped all over the world if we were cheerful givers. Cheerful givers cause other people to become cheerful givers because generosity is contagious. Live into your beautiful calling to be a part of something special, something far bigger than your individual happiness, and give of yourself for the sake of others. The more of us that live into this, the more people around us will be moved to do so as well. The impact could be special.

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