Bernard F. Evans: Generous in thanksgiving

You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God (2 Corinthians 9:11-12).
“The message from [the Apostle] Paul is not primarily that we will be blessed if we are generous. Rather, the point is that we must be generous in thanksgiving of the many blessings already received. Our generosity then will lead others, especially the recipients, to thank God who is the source of every good. It is this God who moves us to be charitable in the distribution of our resources. Will we in turn be rewarded for our generosity? Perhaps, but the focus here is on God, the bestower of all that is good and the One who has put us in a position to be generous.
Homilies or talks during financial stewardship campaigns occasionally seek to assure listeners that blessings will come their way if they give generously. They have it backwards. We should give generously because we already have been blessed by a loving God. There is nothing wrong with believing that our generosity will be rewarded by God, but that should not be the motivation for our giving. We give out of grateful hearts because God has blessed us already and we want our act of sharing to give glory to God.”
Bernard F. Evans in Stewardship: Living a Biblical Call (Collegeville: OSB, 2014) 124.
My prayer is that those reading this will shift their focus to “giving thanks to God and encouraging joyful giving from people” in order to increase glory to God. The former is yet another illustration of “the love of money” in the modern world, while the latter demonstrates “the love of God” in action. When the focus shifts, the glory shifts and that’s not a good thing. Do you have it backwards?

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