When you give…

When you give…
March 1 – March 7

“Giving will make you happier than receiving.” Jesus

“W-I-I-F-M”. Most really good sales people can immediately tell you what this acronym means. It has been pounded into their psyche. The knowledge of the depth of its meaning will drive them to success. The words? “What’s In It For Me?” The question every person asks every day, about seemingly everything in their lives. Answer this question for the prospective buyer, and you make the sale.

In this self consumed world that we live in, the concept of “others” and “generosity” is sadly, a forgotten grace.

On my 12th birthday, my older brother surprised me with a very special birthday present. A single shot, 12-gauge, H&R shotgun. It was an unexpected and undeserved. It became a prized possession. And yes, it kicked like a mule, but that didn’t matter.

God loves a “cheerful giver”. (2 Corinthians 9:7) And so does everyone I know. However, in scripture, it is not the receiving of gifts (as much fun as that is) that is really significant. The greater blessing comes from giving the gift. Paul goes on to say in verses 6-11, “The point is this”… when we give “bountifully” (generously)… not grudgingly, or because we feel that we “must – or else”, God will then pour out His grace abundantly on us. Not just for our sufficiency, but so that we can be generous to those around us. Why? To produce “thanksgiving to God.”

When was the last time you were generous? It could have been a simple word of encouragement. An “at-a-boy” at a ball game. (I love what Benjamin West said, “A kiss from my mother made me a painter.”) How about a handwritten note to a friend? Or taking a couple out to dinner that is going through hard times? Maybe an anonymous gift to a family with no job? Gifts that are given with no motive beyond the simple joy of generosity.

The true spirit of giving can only flow out of a heart that has experienced God’s gift of Grace. Paul’s exhortation concerning generosity was anchored in God’s “indescribable gift” — His son Jesus (vs 15). Our generosity must be fixed securely there as well.

Pastor E. V. Hill once said… “When God blesses you, He rarely has you in mind.” God is looking for a man through whom He can pour inordinate amounts of money (and I’ll add – everything that matters far beyond money), and none of it will stick. By the way, none of what you have is really yours. It’s His. You’re just a steward (or should be).

W-I-I-F-M? Cheerful giving brings abundant sufficiency and blessings from God.

Generosity. It just might turn your life around.

Posted on: March 1, 2011, 4:10 p.m.