Most things don’t seem to work well when “done half way”…. when you try to swim while holding on to the bank…. starting that diet and continuing to eat desserts at night…. taking a course, but not studying. I’m sure you can come up with your own examples. The truth is that you just can’t “have your cake and eat it too”. Well, enough of the proverbs… but it’s true., half hearted efforts don’t get you very far…in fact they can lead to a lot of frustration.
Jesus had strong words of correction for the “half hearted, or lukewarm”…. being “not hot nor cold”. Yesterday’s reading instructs us about “half hearted generosity”. Jesus says, “he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully…… for God loves a cheerful giver”.(2Cor.9:6-9)
Sometimes we can try to hedge ours bet…. I’ll give something, but I don’t want to risk too much ….“Okay, I’ll put a dollar in the collection at Mass… sure it’s a sacrifice, but you know I’m such a generous guy I’m going to do it…. I snap that ole George Washington and flip it into the basket… boy did everyone see me….”
I’m not talking about proper prudence and prayer to determine when and how to give, I’m talking about allowing the Holy Spirit to shine God’s light on our giving….. and once we decide, then to give freely, to give with joy, and even excitement…being a “cheerful giver”.
It’s always wise to follow God’s will and direction wholeheartedly. There’s no better investment than to invest in God’s works. Paul continues in 2 Corinthians, “ … and God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.” (2 Cor. 9: 8-9)
We can’t outgive God …. he returns our efforts 30, 60, and 100 fold…. not just financially, but in every way. And that is very good news.