The Heart of Giving

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)

Bear with me a moment as I put on my teacher’s cap and dig into the Greek language this passage was originally written in. I primarily want to focus on the word “heart” here, which in the Greek text is the word kardia.

Kardia is one of the most important words used in the New Testament. In fact, it’s used in all but five books in the New Testament, and those books are also the five shortest books in the New Testament. In other words, if only they ran a little longer, kardia would eventually have been added. It’s a word that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter, and the anonymous writer of Hebrews all used. That’s every New Testament author, by the way!

It was part of everyone’s vocabulary because it represents something so foundational to life itself. Literally, kardia refers to, “the seat and center of human life.” You can’t get more foundational and basic than that. Kardia is the hub of who we are. It’s where our desires, impulses, emotions, and even our thoughts all live. Kardia is the core of our being, the irreducible minimum, the center of who we are, the point of absolute transparency and sincerity. There’s nothing beyond or deeper than it. In other words, you cannot get any more you than your kardia.

Why the Greek grammar lesson? Because its from this place of our being, our kardia, that our generosity is to be born.

Generosity isn’t intended to be an “add on” to our lives. It’s not something that’s circumstantial or optional. It must come from the very core of who we are and must have a permanent place there. This is how fundamentally important our generosity is; it has a seat at the big table and shapes who we are, one way or another.

Someone else has a seat at that table: the Lord, Himself. For our kardia also represents the place of God’s dwelling and influence over our lives. And as He is seated at the head of the table, He touches the other areas of our heart, including our generosity, and makes them healthy.

Lord, may You have Your rightful place in our hearts, and may You bless and heal what’s weak and broken in there. Strengthen us in all the areas where we could be stronger, including our generosity.

DIG: Why is the word kardia so important?

DISCOVER: What is the relationship between our kardia and our generosity?

DISPLAY: Where do you need to be strengthened by the Lord? Ask Him. Pray over the areas in your life where you see weakness and resistance.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.