God Loves a Cheerful Giver

red piggy bank

God loves a cheerful giver.

I’ve heard this scripture my entire life. It’s challenging, for sure.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

Does God love tearful givers?

Apparently, our five-year-old grandson, Lukas, is not familiar with it; nor does he want to be. Not yet, anyway.

After recently relocating to our state, our grandson started attending church with us. With the forced break during Covid, it had been a while since he had attended, and he was just a toddler at the time. He had to reacquaint himself with the entire church process.

As part of the children’s program, our church does a wonderful job of leading the children through their own service. They mimic the experience of adult worship by coming together in a larger setting, singing songs, enjoying a quick lesson, then they take up a collection.

To introduce the idea of tithing or giving back to God, the leaders even pass out real coins for the children to drop in the basket when it’s their turn.

This is where we ran into a problem.

They handed Lukas a shiny nickel. He was rather proud of that coin, and preferred to keep it. In fact, when it was his turn to contribute, he refused.

The first week, we found it in his pocket once he came home. The second week, he cried. By the third week, he participated, but crossed his arms and stomped off in a noticeably public pout.

Funny. But also a vivid portrait of what giving without being cheerful about it looks like. The action may be right, but the heart is far from it.

My husband and I tried to explain the process on five-year-old terms over lunch.

“We go to church to worship God, and we give him money because everything we have is a gift from him.”

His response? “If it’s a gift, why can’t I keep it?”

Hmmm. Second attempt.

“God can use our money in even bigger ways than we can. He gives it to us to see how we’ll use it. He loves it when we choose to give it back to Jesus.”

“But he gave it to me. He wants me to have it.”


Switching tactics, we played a little sharing game where we had one toy, but took turns playing with it. The twinkle in his eye led us to believe he was finally grasping the fun of sharing.

“You give the toy to me, then I give it to Pop, then he gives it to you. We take turns so everyone can have a chance to play. Isn’t this fun?”

He nodded with a giggle.

“Okay, now let’s do that with this quarter. I give it to your Pop. He gives it to you, then you pass it on to Jesus.”

Nothing could have prepared me for his answer.

Lukas dropped his head into his hands in despair. “Oh no. Not him again.”


Gasp. Cough. Cough.

My instincts told me to quickly scoot away from my grandson, in case a bolt of lightning jolted through our booth at the restaurant.

We definitely need to invest more time in this lesson. And apparently, on his introduction to Jesus over all.

Still learning. It’s a process.

But if the truth be known, many adults struggle with giving as well.

Lukas may have taken this to a concerning level, (we did apologize to Jesus afterward) but in his honesty, he asked the question many are afraid to ask. He just said the quiet parts out loud.

Giving does not always come easily. Tithing goes completely against what the world may tell us. It does not come naturally. And giving cheerfully? That is a tough concept and habit to grasp, especially in a world where we’ve been advised to keep to ourselves for so long. At times, everyone still feels a bit withdrawn and non-trusting, and it’s difficult to be fully aware of the needs of others if you can’t see them for yourself.

As a lifetime Christian, I appreciate a gentle reminder about giving cheerfully and why it’s so important to do so. For those of us who have faced heavy financial battles, it’s much easier to invest our time or talents than to turn over the first ten percent of a paycheck.

Lukas is rather fond of money and is just beginning to learn how to manage it. He once bought a toy with his own $5 dollar bill, and when the cashier gave him two $1 dollar bills in exchange, he held one in each hand and ran all over that store to show everyone he now had two dollars when he used to have just one. In his sheer excitement, he almost left his new toy behind on the counter.

“Two dollars? Can you believe it? I’ve got one for each pocket.”

He brought a smile to each person he passed simply by sharing the joy of a new toy and a couple of dollar bills.

On that day, his actions were a gift to many.

Lukas will get it one day, and when he does, Jesus will appreciate his gift even more. Because he knows what a treasure that will be.

With us, God understands how long it takes to figure this out. To accept his blessings freely. To recognize them when they arrive, and to trust him enough to share those gifts with others.

Everything we have is a blessing from him. Our paychecks. Our homes, our cars, our jobs, our family.

Add to this the bonus gifts of a gentle breeze. A great day playing in the sprinkler with the grandkids. A long walk with some intense conversation. A new friend. A compliment. The sun rising through the fog. Homemade ice cream. Those last few weekends of summer. A slight chill in the air, hinting that autumn is just around the corner.

And even the gift of a shiny new nickel.

We’ve done nothing to deserve such kindness. Still, he gives it to us freely. With open hands, rather than a clenched fist.

There is nothing more rewarding than turning it back over to him and watching what he can do with it.

And he invites us to be a part of brightening this crazy world. Once we figure that out, giving cheerfully is easy. Until then, we’ll just rest in the fact that God not only loves a cheerful giver, but tearful ones as well.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (II Corinthians 9:6) 

Saving. Spending. Reaping. Sowing. Thanking. Trusting. Growing. Giving.

Pray for us. We’ll get there eventually. The adults as well as the children.

Thankfully, God also has a sense of humor. And so do the wonderful teachers in the children’s program at church.

Janet Morris Grimes

Janet Morris Grimes earliest childhood memories were spent creating fairy-tale stories of the father she never knew. That desire to connect with the mysterious man in a treasured photograph gave her a deep love for the endless possibilities of a healing and everlasting story. A wife of one, mother of three, and Tootsie to four, Janet currently writes from her quiet two-acre corner of the world near Elizabethtown, KY. She has spent the last few years preparing to introduce her novels and children’s stories to the world. Her debut novel, Solomon's Porch, was released in August of '21 and is now available on Amazon. For additional information on Janet, visit her website at http://janetmorrisgrimes.com.

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