God Loves a Cheerful Giver - 2 Corinthians 9:7

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In 2 Corinthians 9:7, the apostle Paul said, "God loves a cheerful giver." While encouraging the believers in Corinth to give generously, Paul didn't want them to give beyond their means, "reluctantly or under compulsion." Most importantly, he wanted them to rely on their inner convictions. This passage and this devotional are reminders that God is more concerned about the motives of our heart than our actions.

Key Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (ESV)

Matters of the Heart

The main idea of 2 Corinthians 9:7 is that our giving ought to be voluntary and spring from a cheerful attitude. It should come from the heart. Paul is speaking about financial giving, but voluntary and cheerful giving goes beyond the scope of monetary giving. Serving our brothers and sisters is another form of giving.

Have you ever noticed how some people enjoy being miserable? They like to complain about anything and everything, but especially about the things they do for other people. An appropriate label for bellyaching about the sacrifices we make to help someone else is the "Martyr Syndrome." 

A long time ago, a wise preacher said, "Never do something for someone if you're going to complain about it later." He went on, "Only serve, give, or do what you're willing to do happily, without regret or complaint." It's a good lesson to learn. Unfortunately, we don't always live by this rule. 

The apostle Paul emphasized the idea that gift-giving is a matter of the heart. Our gifts must come from the heart, voluntarily, not reluctantly, or from a sense of compulsion. Paul drew from a passage found in the Septuagint (LXX): "God blesses a cheerful and giving man" (Proverbs 22:8, LES).

Scripture reiterates this idea many times. About giving to the poor, Deuteronomy 15:10-11 states: 

You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (ESV)

Not only does God love cheerful givers, but he blesses them: 

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9, NIV)

When we are generous in our giving to others, God returns the same measure of generosity to us:

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38, NIV)

If we complain about giving and the things we do for others, in essence, we rob ourselves of a blessing from God and a chance to receive back from him.

Why God Loves a Cheerful Giver

God's nature is open-hearted and giving. We see it in this famous passage:

"For God so loved the world that he gave ..." (John 3:16)

God gave up his Son, Jesus Christ, who left behind the glorious riches of heaven, to come to earth. Jesus loved us with compassion and empathy. He willingly gave up his life. He loved the world so much that he died to give us eternal life.

Is there any better way to learn how to be a voluntary and cheerful giver than to observe the way Jesus gave? Jesus never once complained about the sacrifices he made.

Our heavenly Father loves to bless his children with good gifts. Likewise, God desires to see his own nature duplicated in his children. Cheerful giving is God's grace revealed through us.

As God’s grace toward us reproduces his graciousness in us, it pleases him. Imagine the joy in God's heart when this congregation in Texas began to give generously and cheerfully:

As people began to struggle with the downturn in the economy in 2009, Cross Timbers Community Church in Argyle, Texas, attempted to help. The pastor told the people, “When the offering plate comes by, if you need money, take it from the plate.”
The church gave away $500,000 in just two months. They helped single moms, widows, a local mission, and some families behind on their utility bills. The day they announced the "take-from-the plate" offer, they received their largest offering ever.
--Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell

If we give grudgingly, it's a sign of an underlying heart condition. God loves a cheerful giver because the gift comes from a heart that has been made glad.


  • Wilson, J. L., & Russell, R. (2015). "Take Money from the Plate." Illustrations for Preachers.
  • I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 404). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
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Fairchild, Mary. "God Loves a Cheerful Giver - 2 Corinthians 9:7." Learn Religions, Jan. 10, 2021, learnreligions.com/a-cheeful-giver-verse-day-156-701663. Fairchild, Mary. (2021, January 10). God Loves a Cheerful Giver - 2 Corinthians 9:7. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/a-cheeful-giver-verse-day-156-701663 Fairchild, Mary. "God Loves a Cheerful Giver - 2 Corinthians 9:7." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/a-cheeful-giver-verse-day-156-701663 (accessed June 9, 2023).