Cheerful Giving

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Cheerful Giving

On January 31, 2016, Posted by , In Christian Living,Giving,Living out your faith, With No Comments

Although we may not like it, God’s word says it is more blessed to give than to receive. It also says that God loves those who give cheerfully! Do these statements cause you to weigh your actions, attitude, and heart? One line of thought takes it to an even more intense inspection, with the idea that “you are what you give”. What does this mean?

How much do you think about giving? Has it become part of your nature like it is God’s, or do you focus more on getting? Scripture reminds us that God’s ways are higher than ours! Jesus taught, “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38

Giving is a blessing for both the giver and the receiver because it creates connection with others. Giving money is only one way to impact others. Generosity can be sharing possessions, offering hospitality, even forgiving and being patient with others. Actions that show you care is counted as giving.

In his book God is a Verb, Rabbi David Cooper offers an easy suggestion to increase your heart to give. Every morning, put a small bill or coin in a place where you can reach it quickly. Give it away to the first person in need that you meet, without stopping to evaluate how the money will be used. This simple practice cultivates the habit of giving without thinking about what you might get back. It also reminds you that everything you have is a gift from God to be freely shared!

In the 12th century, another Jewish teacher created an eight-step ‘ladder’ to explain different levels of giving. At the bottom was tossing spare coins to a beggar to get rid of him or her, and at the top — making a gift that enables someone to become self-reliant.

Which end of the scale mos-accurately gauges your giving philosophy and actions? When you began this year, were you hoping that certain areas of your life might improve this year? Did you hope to grow spiritually and to have more love in your heart for God? These kinds of changes happen gradually, but you should be able to see movement over time. “God, make my heart like yours!”

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 NIV)

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