Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
The jury has returned and the verdict is in: “Giving is as beneficial to the giver as to the one who is receiving.” In an article on Philanthropy, Dr. Stephen Post, professor of preventive medicine and bioethics at Stony Brook University School of Medicine said this, “Creativity, meaning, resilience, health and even longevity can be enhanced as a surprising byproduct of contributing to the lives of others. This is perennial wisdom, and science now says it is so.” Once again, we have age-old Biblical precepts found now to be true and helpful by the scientific community in our twenty-first century.
Throughout the years, I have heard people say how much they wish they had wealth so they could give it away. This is indeed admirable! However, the truth is “money” is not the only currency that has value. You and I are rich in ways that can offer the things money cannot buy; forgiveness, grace, mercy, time and love, kindness and thoughtfulness. These are just a few of the resources within every person’s ability to give in abundance. Oh, but many times these gifts may be the most costly to the giver because they are given with no expectation of ever receiving a “thank you” note. Instead, we give forgiveness when possibly never hearing the words “I’m sorry;” mercy for justice; grace for unmet expectations; love for rejection; kindness for harshness and thoughtfulness for carelessness.
In this time of Advent, we focus our hearts on God’s Gift, Jesus, Who embodies all of these things we hope for and that we have received unconditionally. They were delivered in a manger but were paid in full on a cross. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” [2 Corinthians 9:8-10]
Help me today, LORD God, to give away out of the vast storehouse of Your abundance the very things You have already given to me. Let me withhold nothing that will bring peace into the world. AMEN
To The One Who gives exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine…Jesus.