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.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Many people read this verse, see that God loves a cheerful giver, decide that they aren’t cheerful, and decide not to give. However, if you’re currently a grumpy giver rather than a cheerful giver, what do you think God would prefer? Do you think he’d rather you turn into a non-giver, or into a cheerful giver? Examine your heart for the source of your grumpiness! Lack of giving is often a reflection of the state of our heart, not our wallet. We don’t acknowledge God as the source of everything we have, so we have no thankfulness, and see no need to worship God by giving.
The lead up to the big whammy at the end of the verse is “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give”. So, step 1 is to decide in your heart what you are going to give. Many of us only give on impulse, not deciding in our heart whatever to give, but letting spur of the moment emotions guide of giving. So, when you’re doing your budget, that’s a good time to examine your heart and decide in your heart what to give. Then follow through with what you’ve decided in your heart.
The verses before and after talk about the blessings of generosity. It talks about how abundant sowing leads to an abundant harvest and how God supplies all our seed to sow anyway. But many times we are given seed for the purpose of sowing, and instead we grind it in to flour and eat it, even when we are already full.