“Each of you
As you have made up
Or under compulsion.
God loves a cheerful giver.”
ἕκαστος καθὼς προῄρηται τῇ καρδίᾳ, μὴ ἐκ λύπης ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης· ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην ἀγαπᾷ ὁ Θεός.
Paul said that each of you must give (ἕκαστος καθὼς) as you have made up your mind or your heart (προῄρηται τῇ καρδίᾳ), not reluctantly (μὴ ἐκ λύπης) or under compulsion (ἢ ἐξ ἀνάγκης). God (ὁ Θεός) loves (ἀγαπᾷ) a cheerful giver (ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην). Only this Corinthian letter used this word προῄρηται, that means to bring forth or forward, or to propose, and the word ἱλαρὸν, that means cheerful, joyous, or not grudging. Paul wanted to make sure that the Corinthians understood that their gifts should come from their hearts, not reluctantly or under any compulsion. They were free to give or not to give. However, Paul clearly preferred the cheerful giver rather than a sour puss giver or a non-giver. He even added that God loved the cheerful giver. They should not be attached to their worldly goods. They should consider almsgiving as part of their life. Thus, giving should be a good cheerful thing. Are you a cheerful giver?