In 2 Cor 8 we find several characteristics of a liberal giver. A liberal giver:
Sacrifices himself to God – 2 Cor 8:5 – you start by giving yourself to the Lord [Rom 12:1-2]. If you haven’t given yourself to God, anything you do for God is always going to be a struggle. Giving and serving are much easier after you have surrendered your life to God.
Sincerely loves the brethren – 2 Cor 8:4, 8, 24 – The Macedonians wanted to share in the fellowship of ministering to the saints. Paul said that giving proves the sincerity of your love. Jesus’ new commandment is that we love the brethren [Jn 13:34-35]. We are to love each other the way that Christ loved us and we are to lazy down our lives for each other [1 Jn 3:16-18].
Willingly gives to others – 2 Cor 8:3, 11-12 – The Macedonians were “willing of themselves.” The Corinthians has “a readiness to will.” There must be “first a willing mind.” If you have a desire to be a liberal giver, you are willing to help others.
Relies upon the grace of God – 2 Cor 8:1-3 – the grace of God is always abundant in need. God’s grace is best demonstrated in the grace of Jesus [2 Cor 8:9] because he was the only one who could meet our need. There is a joy in giving that is unparalleled in any other pursuit [Heb 12:2]. Just like Paul found pleasure in infirmity by the grace of God, so we find pleasure in being a liberal giver by the grace of God.
Believes the principle of equality – 2 Cor 8:13-15 – Equality assures that when we give to meet others’ needs, others will give to meet our needs. The Lord will use them to supply your need [Lk 6:38]. If you have anything, you have enough already to start giving. Look at this principle in Prov 11:24-25; Prov 13:7.
Conclusion: have you given yourself to the Lord? Are you willing to give to others? Do you sincerely love the brethren? Do you rely upon the grace of God? Do you believe that God will use others to give to you if you give to others? If you answer “Yes” to each of these questions, then you can be a liberal giver.