“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
Nothing kicks up my fight or flight response like being asked to give. Whether it’s time, energy or money, someone is always asking for something, and after dividing our resources between family, community, this cause and that activity, our tanks are drained, but the need is still great. The call to give can be so constant, it’s easy to become offended and shut it off. For those who can’t shut it off, and are consumed by obligation, we extend ourselves beyond reason, and become resentful. We think, “All I want is a few minutes, a few dollars, to myself. Why should I give it away?”
We try to guilt ourselves into becoming cheerful givers, and settle for the bit of happiness we feel when we can pat ourselves on the back and say we did a good thing or we tell a friend so that they can acknowledge us, not realizing our effort doesn’t glorify God, as we claim the glory for ourselves. Today, we turn away from the call to give and turn toward the One who gives above and beyond what we can ask or imagine and give thanks for all He has given us, the same way Jesus gave thanks to the Father before He gave of Himself.
What good things has God given you today?
How does recognizing how abundantly blessed you are change the way you see giving or will give?
Holy Spirit, thank you for all the gifts you have blessed me with. Thank you for the love of community, for the resources I can draw from which meet my needs, for everyday pleasures I take for granted. I am humbled by your constant, faithful expressions of love, and am so grateful. I ask that You would take my gratitude and turn it to joy, as it was with Jesus, who gave thanks to the Father before giving of himself, and for the joy set before him, endured the cross. Forgive me for trying to make myself better at giving through guilt, obligation and self praise. I believe Your word is true, that You have enriched me in every way so that I can be generous on every occasion, and that generosity would result in more thanks to You. I receive Your overflow of resources in my life. Thank you for choosing me to be a blessing. Amen.