God loves the hilarious giver by Pastor Melissa Scott

August 8, 2011 · Posted in Pastor Melissa Scott 

Q. You’ve said God loves the hilarious giver, and we don’t give to get, but considering most people don’t understand about giving, what should people keep in their minds and their hearts when they give?

A. Well, I will say this, in Luke 14 Jesus said no man can come after Him except he forsake all, and He lists all the things to be forsaken: the family, houses, land. But He also states the paradoxical truth that no man has forsaken all but what he receives many times that, not only in the life to come but here also. Now, the paradox is that the forsaking is without the motive to get. But when you cross that hurdle and you give to God because of your love and value and worthship expression to Him, it triggers a response from Him. I often teach the difference between the Greek words phileo, which is mutual love, and agapao, which God calls forth, which is an uncalculated giving of yourself to the other because of the intrinsic value or worth of the object. Everybody likes phileo; we’d like to love and then be guaranteed that we get loved back the same way. But when people are doing for me “to get,” it makes me look out for me. If I’m drowning and somebody risks their life to pull me from the water, I’m not going to have to talk myself into liking them on the bank. That’s the power of agapao. It’s a paradox and complicated, but when God sees us giving without calculation, He will give us more than we can give to Him. That’s the paradoxical truth. God loves the hilarious giver because the hilarious giver is giving out of happiness. It is the way you are when you first fall in love with someone, or you have that bright-eyed baby that brought new life in your home. You don’t have to be whipped into giving, you have great joy in giving to the object of your love. God, who sees the heart, sees that expression of love and worship and uncalculating effort and He loves that true, hilarious giver. But paradoxically, He also is going to hilariously give back.

The one unqualified promise regarding tithing in Malachi is: “Prove me now herewith, and see if you honor me with your tithes and offerings, that I don’t give you a blessing that you can’t contain.” (cf. Malachi 3:10) Now, it may not be the blessing that WE define, but it’s the blessing that the God of all goodness will provide to us. You are never going to know until you try, and you aren’t going to know until you keep doing it no matter what.

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