I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. (2 Corinthians 12:15, ESV)
An offering grudgingly given is not blessed (2 Cor 9:6-15). Service offered only out of a sense of obligation will not be a blessing to others. The widow’s mite was materially far less than the other offerings, but spiritually it was far more (Mk 12:41ff). The difference was the attitude with which it was given.
Indeed we are obligated to give, obligated to serve, obligated to glorify. But if obligation is all we feel, then our giving, our service, our worship has failed. There must be gladness in our service, joy in our worship, eagerness in our giving. Those who glorify are glad to do so. There really can be no glorification without gladness.
That is not to say that we should not assemble to worship when we are feeling down. That is not to say that we should not serve even when we would rather be served. It is often in the midst of worship that our spirit is enlightened (Ps 73:16-17). It is often in the midst of service that our attitude sweetens. As someone has said, “It is easier to act your way into a better way of feeling than to feel your way into a better way of acting.”
It truly is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Those who have learned to gladly be spent in the service of God have always found it to be so. But we must be willing to be spent. Occasional dabbling in service will not bring on blessing.
Two or three pushups per week will make no difference in your health. An occasional healthy meal will make no difference in your waistline. An occasional and grudging effort to honor God will not transform your life. But service gladly given will transform our lives and the lives of those around us.