v 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
How utterly practical and down-to earth! When Jesus talked about giving, He spoke of it as a secret activity, even the left hand would not know what the right hand was doing. (Matthew 6:3) Along with this secret or discreet giving we must also add the quality of cheerfulness. Genuine generosity is never the result of external pressure, the subtle coercion that comes through guilt-feelings, or a desire to be seen as open-handed. Generosity is an inner quality that rejoices cheerfully in being able to meet the needs of another. The decision to be generous is made in the quiet recesses of the soul, well away from prying eyes and intimidating pressures. That does not necessarily mean it is unplanned or simply a spontaneous response to an urgent need – generosity is more likely to be a quiet and personal response, carefully considered and thoughtfully carried through. It is a decision of a heart overflowing with love and gratitude.
This is the quality of generosity that matches the nature of God’s generosity!