By: Matt Boness
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7
My wife and I stick to a pretty consistent budget. We make enough to save, but not enough to live without fear that one big hit will take out any chance to save that month.
However, when someone’s need blips on our radar screen, it’s almost always a ‘yes’ to help. And that’s not just financially. We both work full-time. Have two boys under 3 years old. We host a small group from our church, in our house every Wednesday (now on Zoom). But we try to find time to intentionally interact with those around us, especially if they need a listening ear.
But…I know for me, it isn’t always cheerful. I’m selfish. I like the dollars I earn. I like my time after work to relax. I love my family and don’t want to spend time away from them. I also like the feeling of care for others. Which becomes the propulsion I need to say ‘yes’ when my propensity is to say ‘no’. Where reluctance turns into caring and loving of others.
If you find your mind questioning whether you should give of yourself, and there are clearly no red flags (don’t give your money to Nigerian pirates, please), then try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask if the help you could give would mean anything to you in their circumstance. If receiving a $10 gift card to Starbucks would brighten your day, then do it for someone else. If sitting for an hour with a friend who is anxious about life would mean something to you in that spot, say ‘yes’. It doesn’t have to be difficult to find cheerfulness in giving.
Now, more than ever, we will have to start giving of ourselves more. The delineation of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is going to grow as our world reshapes post-virus. Our friends and family will need us. More importantly, we’ll all need Jesus more. Jesus gave everything of himself, freely to us. He gave his life so we could have life.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thess. 2:16-17
Lord, make in me a cheerful heart. One of love and care, comfort and peace so that I may love like you. In times of need, help me to me the first to give without hesitation. Amen.