i was just talking to my husband about how i gave my time to someone, but i was not engaged. My heart was not in it. i did it cause i felt i had to. it was a horrible thing for me to admit, and i felt really miserable about my behavior. The person had no idea this was how i felt, but that is beside the point. i did not have a cheerful, giving heart as Christ has commanded.
The fact that i felt badly about this told me that God was working on me. He had laid it on my heart to help guide, and change me.
i don't feel i have it all learned, or figured out. Normally when i feel a bit cocky, (as us mortals do from time to time), God will show me in His loving wisdom how much work i need to do. Thankfully God is a loving teacher, and not one to berate me, (i do that myself).
it says in Romans 12:8 "if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." And in 2 Corinthians 9:7 "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."
My understanding of these verses is that if your going to do it, (encourage, give time ect..), do it with your whole heart. Not just because you feel you have to. Have grace in your giving.
When your whole hearts in it, it benefits both the giver and receiver.