Cheerful Giving

The long-awaited morning finally arrives. The heap of torn wrapping paper rivals the size of the remaining pile of unwrapped packages. Mom sips coffee and nibbles on fruitcake. Grandma admires the present her granddaughter has just opened. Then the young son eagerly bounces over to Dad with a poorly but carefully wrapped present.

Of course, inside waits a gift the boy has made himself. It might be a pencil holder or a beaded keychain. Dad doesn’t really care, because he’s already received his gift – the indelible image of his son jumping up and down, eyes shining, unable to contain his excitement until Dad opens his lovingly made gift.

Perhaps this child’s eagerness to give to his father comes close to the idea of the “cheerful giver” God desires of us. Paul said, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Richard J. Foster wrote, “Giving makes life with God an adventure in the world; and that it worth living for and giving for.”

During this week of Thanksgiving, we will do well to focus on the second part of that word – giving. God is pleased when we are filled with thanks. But the real proof is in the giving. When was the last time you brought some gift of sacrificial proportion before your heavenly father with the same zeal as the young boy who brought his gift to his Dad on Christmas Day?

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