Copyright 2006 Rod Rogers
Pastor, as you know, God created us in such a way that we are motivated to act in our own best interest. That’s why He gives us so many promises of blessing for obedience, and threats of painful loss for disobedience.
Based on this basic biblical principle of spiritual motivation, as you seek to lead your church into generous giving, you will want to emphasize the rewards God promises to faithful stewards. Not the least of these is that givers will be happier .
My personal experience confirms this promise. And so does that of the members of my former church. In a congregational survey, 96 percent of our people affirmed that they had a new sense of joy in life since they began to give at least ten percent of their income to the Lord.
Because everyone wants to be happy, you do your people a great service when you teach them to give. In my annual stewardship series I made sure I reminded our people of the following truths. I encourage you to pass these on to your flock.
Giving Produces Happiness
In Acts 20:35 we read,
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (NASB).
In this passage “blessed” means happy. Jesus promises that the person who gives will be given greater happiness than the one who receives.
According to this promise, if you take two people, one who gives a thousand dollars, and another who receives a thousand dollars, the person who gives the thousand dollars will be happier!
That’s not how we naturally think, but Jesus knows He made us in such a way that when we give to God and others with cheerful hearts, we experience great happiness!
Stingy People Are Unhappy People
Stingy, selfish, people who don’t give to God and their church are often the most unhappy, joyless people. You’ve seen a selfish child gripping a toy with both hands, refusing to share with her little brother, crying and screaming, “Mine, mine, mine!” She’s definitely not a happy camper.
Happy children are taught that their toys belong not to them, but to Jesus. When they share willingly they feel an inner joy and they experience a sense of self-respect.
Many Christians are figuratively clenching their wallets with both hands and as they hear a message on giving they begin screaming in their minds, “Mine, mine, mine!” They are not happy people.
The only people who don’t like sermons on giving generously are people who don’t give generously! You’ll never be as happy as possible while you keep your fist tightly clenched around your wallet.
If you want to be happier, start giving.