We often see this verse used in sermons on tithing, suggesting that if you give your money (cheerfully), God will bless you abundantly by making sure you continue to thrive financially.
While that certainly might be one application of this passage, it falls short of the central message Paul is trying to communicate. In fact, a few verses down (12), he clarifies that “giving” is not just about serving others, but also about worshiping God – giving our trust and affection.
The point Paul is trying to make is that you are abundantly blessed in a lot of different ways. Physical resources, intellect and ability, time and the opportunity to make choices. And that all of these things are given to you so that you might abound in every good work.
We are blessed to serve, equipped to love. Not just because God wants us to care for others but because caring for others is also in our own self-interest.
Faith, trust in God, empowers us to be superheroes in this world. To use the variety of opportunities we have been given to serve, love, and worship. In the movies, superpowers do not make a superhero. Villains have power too. What makes them heroic is what they do with those gifts. Do they serve, love, protect or do they steal, kill, destroy?
Our choice is the greatest power we hold, the most abundant gift we have been given. What we choose to do with it today determines where we abide, whom we serve, and whether or not we live a life of abundance.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:7-8