“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
This will probably be one of my least read blogs…. But at the same time one of the most important. What do you think of giving? For real… Think about it… What do you think of giving? Is it a blessing… A gift… An honor… A burden… A task… A nice thought for someone else to do? For a while I didn’t see giving as something joyful or cheerful. I gave monetarily, but I never saw it as a joy. It was a task that I did because I felt I had to, as opposed to wanting to. Scripture says that God loves a cheerful giver, but my giving didn’t feel cheerful at all until I heard a message at a church I was visiting a few years ago that completely changed my outlook. The pastor explained that generous giving brings thanks to God. Huh? My giving could inspire thanks to God? Let me share a story I read last night from one of our grant recipients at work, her name is Alisha and serves as an optometrist in Guatemala:
“Two months ago a patient was led into my office, braced by her friend on her right and her sister on her left. During an exam the week before, her sister had told me about her blind sister whose life is hard because she can never leave the house. I told her to bring her sister to me as soon as she could and it was apparent that she had dense cataracts in both eyes and could not see anything except the presence of light.
“And….today. Today she came walking into my office with a huge smile on her face and NO ONE guiding her. I think she was walking extra fast to impress me. Her sister grabbed my face, looked me in the eyes, and said ‘Doctor I brought my sister to get the cataract surgery and I could not stop crying…now she can SEE!! Thanks be to God! We thanked God for bringing you too.'”
So how does giving inspire thanks to God? Because of faithful giving, God has freed Alisha to serve in Guatemala as an optometrist. This service brings thanks and praise to God – thanks that is inspired by faithful and generous giving!
Today we will celebrated Thanksgiving, a day where we gave thanks for all that we have. Then tomorrow, Friday (or for some today), we are thrown into the frenzy of holiday shopping. Before the frenzy begins, ask God what He would like you to give. Whether you give to your church, to a Christian organization, to your neighbor… this holiday season, give generously and cheerfully… knowing that your gift will be used to bring thanks and praise to God.
photo credit: Brooke Cagle