We’re looking at scriptures related to the Building Blocks, spiritual practices we can adapt and use to “practice the presence of Christ.” Today’s Block is G for Generosity. 2018 Soul Care Plan Link

Today’s scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Lynnette Pullen):

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

When I lived in Indianapolis, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet many different people in my line of work. After an injury or illness, I go to my patients’ homes and help them set and achieve goals to return to a normal and healthy life.

One lady I met turned out to be a living breathing example of the “Cheerful Giver.” Her home is small and simple. She was on a budget so tight she had to watch literally every penny so she’d have enough to purchase basic items like soap and toilet paper. She struggled with her illness and could only work sporadically.

I asked her what she would like to accomplish with our time together, and she told me that she wanted to get strong enough to go back to work part time. She went on to explain that while assistance would pay for rent and food, she still wanted to do as much as she could for herself. “If I work then I get to put five or even ten dollars in the offering plate!” She stood there, proud, face beaming and grinning from ear to ear. The words struck me, get to, not have to or even want to. To her, giving was a privilege, an honor, and a joy. Wow. She redefined my idea of a cheerful giver and gave me a goal to work toward.

I’ve never thought of giving as a privilege or an honor. I’ve always been happy to do it and have always been taught that I am supposed to do it. But I never really thought of it as something I get to do. I get to have weekends off and I get to go the salon twice a month. I never realized that when I give, I get to give.

I think mostly we think “I give to get.” I don’t mean that selfishly, but scripturally. We give because we are taught that generosity is a biblical principle. While that is true and good, what she taught me was that giving is from the heart. While we get many benefits from giving to God, the act alone is something to look forward to and enjoy.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me this example of a “Cheerful Giver.”

Thought for the day: When I give, am I cheerful? Do I have to, want to, or get to?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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