Covetous Or Giving [2 Corinthians 9]

5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9as it is written,"HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER."10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

My flesh is not cheerful in giving, and according to Paul, that could be rooted in covetousness. I had to look up the Greek definition for covetousness just now because I had no idea what it meant in this context. The word comes from a root word that means more in quantity or quality or the major portion. In addition, there is an added sense of being eager for gain through fraudulent means as well as greediness. Those definitions pretty well sum up my flesh ways. However, for years God has been growing me to be more of a giver and also in the cheerful part even though it is natural for me to want more stuff and to use money to please myself.
As usual, God's way is not my way and Paul clearly defines the result for me when I won't give, I will reap sparingly. The reaping probably refers to spiritual blessings more than physical ones, but since the spiritual ones are the eternal blessings, those are the ones I want (after all, I will be able to enjoy them forever!). Thankfully, Paul also explains how it is possible for me to be a cheerful giver from the heart and "not grudgingly or under compulsion by way of this astounding verse that never ceases to amaze and encourage me in every struggle in my life;
" 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." The truth is that my flesh will never want to cheerfully give, however, because God is such a lavish giver, I can keep on exchanging my selfish spending for His all abounding grace (gifts) and partake of His all sufficiency and abundance for every good deed so as to share more freely with those whom He directs me to give.

We praise You God that You never hold back in giving to us. You proved that by giving Your Son over to the cross for our sins. And now because of that work, we, your children have access to Your lavish wisdom and power to live a life marked by cheerful giving no matter how much or little we may have. Cause us to keep on giving you our natural flesh tendencies and to excel still more in filling with Your grace for every good deed.
Beth Warlick, 6/26/2009