Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give
At first glance, it may appear that this verse condones a more passive discipleship. If you do not feel the push to give yourself fully to the gospel, then don’t. Just invest to what degree you feel like. One might try to use this verse as justification to dabble with God and say that that was enough.
But that is a misreading of the passage. It does not say “according as he purposeth in his mind,” it says the “heart.” It has always been my mind that tries to rationalize effortless discipleship, but my heart has always yearned to give myself even more to God. I think many of us, if we are really honest with ourselves, have a heart that is more giving than we allow it to be. Not a one of us has a stingy heart…only a suppressed one.
Though I bestow my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing
For if he offereth a gift, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing
And so long as we keep our hearts suppressed, then we will receive no benefit for whatever token efforts we make. God is not going to reward us for our begrudging discipleship. He is not going to pat us on the back for doing things devoid of any real heart. If He did, it would reinforce our passive lifestyle, and prove detrimental for our development. Thus it becomes all too easy to make a half-hearted effort at following God, receive no spiritual nourishment for it, and then say “see, there’s no benefit in this.” But even as we say this, our conscience knows we never really tried.
God is not content with us going through the motions like trained monkeys. He is a jealous God, and He wants our hearts. Real relationships require real investment, and God wants the realest relationship with us imaginable.