GIVING

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” II Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)

I once heard a preacher quote the above passage, and then he added, “But he will take from an old grouch.” That’s possibly true, but I believe the joy comes to the cheerful giver.

According to the Charity Aid Foundation, the United States is the most charitable country in the world across all three criteria measured—volunteering, helping strangers, and donating money. We live in a generous country and are encouraged on every side to give.

But there’s more to giving than just financial transactions. One of the most sacrificial gifts we can give is ourselves—our time, our talent, our compassion, our understanding. The list could go on. How frequently are you “surprised by joy” when someone sends you a handwritten note or calls for no reason than to chat? Think of how that brightens your day.

Let’s make a mental list of ways to reach out and give to others: an email note of cheer, a card to express love, a text with Emoticons to bring a smile, a flower from our garden. This could become a family project. Share the love. Share the joy. Share Jesus in deed.

Father, you call yourself Love. Your greatest expression of love was your precious Son Jesus whom you gave for our redemption. Open my heart to receive and pour out your love through touching a life today in your name. AMEN.

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