Giving…’tis the season! Right? Or did we just pass that season up? Read what Mark has to say about it. I think it will challenge all of us!
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7
A couple months ago I saw a segment online of a talk show with a female waitress being interviewed and celebrated for her kind act of paying a $27 lunch bill of two women with deployed husbands from our armed services. Her caring and generous heart was such an encouragement and blessing not only to those wives but also all of us viewers.
Why don’t we see more of that in our daily life? How come we typically only get into the “Christmas spirit” of giving in December? God’s Word tells us there is more and better motivation outside of a tax write-off!
Let’s look at some biblical principles and practical ways that will help us give with a joyful heart all year long.
1. Give off the top. Don’t give as an afterthought, after paying bills and when your bank account is looking tight. Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce…” I’m pretty confident that God knew we’d all struggle trusting Him (#Israelitesinthewilderness!) – I think that’s partly why He tells us to give off the top of what we produce and earn.
2. Determine, and if needed, adjust your motivation for giving. Are you out to toot your own horn? Though there will likely be some “applause” that feels nice from those around – no one can trump God’s blessing and favor. Jesus tells us that if our giving is in secret, our Father will reward us – Matt. 6:4. I’m pretty confident the kind waitress aforementioned never expected to receive national attention or a gift of $10,000 from the talk show host. Wow! Yes, though I’d gladly take any amount of material reward, I’d rather have the internal joy and God’s affirmation of, “well-done good and faithful servant.”
3. Have fun meeting people’s needs! Taking care of widows and orphans is clearly directed in scripture. Jesus reached out and ministered to all types of hurting people who had physical needs in all sorts of crazy ways. Get creative and be proactively ready to give. Some dear friends of mine always have several zip lock bags full of crackers, granola bars, water, etc. they carry around in their car to offer to those in need they might come upon while driving. I’ve heard of others who intentionally designate some cash each month and look to meet needs with it. Check out this Giving Principle website then vote to determine which fun way you and your family will bless others this month.
May God deepen our desire to give which will no doubt reflect and point to His goodness. We hope you have fun wrapping in all sorts of fun design and celebrating Christmas all year long!
Don’t let your age or lack of a job prevent you from being blessed by giving. Give out of your allowance, birthday money, some of your personal possessions, your school lunch or your time by serving a person in need. Be the one to challenge your parents to find and implement a creative way to give from the Giving Principle website.