“Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
II Corinthians 9:7
It is truly a rare person that takes joy in paying their bills; bills are a reality of living in our culture. Sometimes we worry if we will be able to pay our bills, other times we can, still other times we know we cannot pay some of our bills at all. All this worry about bill paying can, and does, adversely impact both our physical health and emotional well-being. Giving to the ongoing ministry of Jesus is profoundly different; our giving is not bill to pay but a thanksgiving to God for the blessings we have received. God doesn’t force us to offer gifts to the church nor does the church pressure people to give, as St. Paul wrote, “give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion.” The gifts we offer to God are purely given out of gratitude for all the grace God continues to shower upon us. The joy of giving is the knowledge that our faithful stewardship truly makes a difference in somebody else’s life. Think of giving as a commitment to the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ, using what God has entrusted to us. The spiritual discipline of giving is like any other discipline, the more it is practiced the more a part of life it becomes. When our priority is serving God through our Risen Savior Jesus Christ, our giving becomes an absolute joy. We promised God to participate in the ministries of Jesus Christ through our giving; the resulting miracle of our faithful stewardship is an increase in God’s blessing in our lives and in the lives of others. Giving is a joy that lightens our load and increases our commitment to God. No matter how large or small the gift, the heavens celebrate in your generosity and shares in your joy. Thank you Jesus for all the gifts we have received and the privilege of joyfully giving back to you.