When we give an offering, we are giving beyond the tithe, usually in response to a prompting, a felt need or a particular project.
As we cultivate a heart of generosity, we find the heart of God at work in us when we respond. Not only that, but Proverbs 11:24 says: “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” When we grasp our finances tightly, we usually find ourselves under the strain of financial pressure. Yet, somehow through generosity, there are greater gains through greater giving.
The Apostle Paul used the agricultural analogy of sowing seed and harvest to describe the generous life. He said: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). This word picture helps make sense of generosity. Money is seed – and as such, it multiplies when it is invested. We usually think of financial investments in terms of business start-ups or stocks and bonds. Rarely do we think of financial investment in terms of spiritual things.
Paul makes it clear that when we sow financial seed into the work of our local Church, it brings a financial harvest to our life that enables us to sow more and more with each successive harvest. Thus, through a heart of generosity, we begin a cycle of seedtime and harvest that enables us to be used in seeing God work through us as we steward the money we have control over.