The Cheerful Giver: Christian Stewardship

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 

St. Paul the Apostle

This I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of         necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness remains forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all  liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

THE CHEERFUL ORTHODOX GIVER: PLEDGING & TITHING

“As Orthodox Christians living in an excessively competitive society, in which Mammon is the god of choice, we need to recover this sacramental aspect of tithing as a symbolic offering of ‘all our life to Christ, our God.’ Tithing is less an economic issue than a spiritual one. It is not just a means to support programs and ministries of the institutional Church. Its true purpose is to acknowledge, in the most concrete and visible way possible, that God is absolute Sovereign over our life, and that our faith in Him – and in His faithfulness – signifies absolute trust in His promises (Mt 6:19-34!).” (John Breck, Longing for God, pg. 219)

GENEROUS GIVING OF YOU SELF AND YOUR TIME

“If you ever wish to associate with someone, make sure that you do not give your attention to those who enjoy health and wealth and fame as the world sees it, but take care of those in affliction, those in critical circumstances, those in prison, those who are utterly deserted and enjoy no consolation. Put a high value on associating with these; for from them you shall receive much profit, you will be a better lover of the true wisdom, and you will do all for the glory of God. And if you must visit someone, prefer to pay this honor to orphans, widows, and those in want rather than to those who enjoy reputation and fame. God Himself has said: I am the father of orphans and the protector of widows. And again: Judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. Then come and let us talk, saith the Lord. (St. John Chrysostom, Ancient Christian Writers: Baptismal Instructions, No. 31, pgs. 97-98)