Cheerful Giving

December 2, 2019
by Karen Milam

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according to how he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (KJV)

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

Acts 20:35b – Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (KJV)

By their example, my parents and grandparents taught my siblings and me the joy of being cheerful givers at home and in the community. We have great recollections of cheerful giving, not only at Christmas, but all year long. Watching for and meeting needs of others with what we had was always on our minds. We brought home needy children and stray dogs. One Grandma made teddy bears out of old coats to share with mill camp kids. Our other grandmother was an ocean fisherwoman, and she gave packaged frozen salmon and cod to everyone in need. Working together gave great opportunity for talking, laughing, and learning from our elders.

Our giving was based on God's own gift of salvation. As they gave, my parents expressed their gratitude to God, while teaching us to be good stewards of limited resources. My strongest memories of "making do" are wrapped in one of our family celebrations of Christmas. One strand of coloured lights lit the small living room with a warm glow as it rested on the reused worn and crinkled tinsel placed carefully on the branches of a sparse tree. Momma's cherished few family ornaments hung on the tree. We felt blessed to receive our freshly painted bicycle and tricycle that looked like new again. My younger sisters squealed with delight when they saw their restored baby buggy, complete with new little blankets and doll clothes that Momma had made out of remnants of old clothes and blankets. That Christmas, although my siblings and I received a few re-gifted items, we did get an additional present each. The little ones got a new colouring book with crayons, and I received a piece of sheet music that I treasured. Before we snuggled into bed that night in the new flannel pyjamas that Grandma made us, we sang Silent night.

When we revisit our memories of giving, which memory means the most to us? We may ask ourselves: Did we give grudgingly, or cheerfully? Has our attitude toward giving changed? We may find that the most memorable gifts that we have given have come from unselfish and sacrificial hearts of love. What an honour and privilege to give from the love that Christ first gave to us.

Prayer: Dear Father, we tremble at the holy nature of Your Son, Jesus. He gave the greatest gift of all when He sacrificed His life to cleanse the world. May His incredible example of giving to us motivate us to serve others with charitable and cheerful hearts. May we continue to give to others from the love of Jesus all the days of our lives. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Well said!


    Blessings of the season to you and yours.


    Thanks, Karen for this heartfelt message about being a cheerful giver.


    Karen, thanks for sharing your memories. Hope you have a great holiday season.


    Hello Karen
    Wow, talk about memories!!!! What a beautiful devotional. I too remember the coloring book and little box of crayons (8) crayons. How simple things were back there and precious times for sure.
    God bless.


    Oh Karen, what an amazing devotional! Thanks for reminding us to be “watching for and meeting the needs of others”! Yes indeed… What a wonderful example your parents were to express gratitude to God as they gave! May many be motivated to follow their example (and yours)! Thanks be to God for His greatest gift of all… the Lord Jesus!


    Greetings Karen,
    Thank you for another special and mindful devotional. Your write-up about presents of earlier days reminded me of the days when flour came in cloth bags and my Mom sewed so many things from those and they were treasured gifts at Christmas. Yes, our Lord gave the greatest gift of all and today His love and care for us is still the greatest feeling to receive.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Giving — my children learned very young, as we did, you got one present from Santa and new PJ’s and any other clothing we needed. Then we went to a relative’s house and they also had four kids. The mom spent $1,000 per child – a huge pile of toys from Santa. When we went home my kids said we do not believe in Santa anymore. If there was a real Santa he would be more fair, they quickly knew that the joy of Christmas was not in a huge pile of toys.
    I think if the kids are not taught young like you were, they become greedy and these kids ask for $100 gifts. Thanks for your devotional.
    (ON)


    Hi Karen,
    Your devotional, as always, is quite meaningful. I am now over 80 and the Christmas I remember the most was the one when I was a freshman in college. I attended on a partial scholarship. My Dad had just gone into business for himself. When I arrived home for the Christmas holidays, I learned that our home and the business had both been robbed. My gift that year was an Orlin sweater. Of all the Christmases before and hence, the one I remember most is the one that I knew my parents had sacrificed to give me…one sweater.
    Our daughters think it is so hard for me to get rid of things because of the way I was raised. It is hard to explain how devastating the depression was for my parents and how horrific WW II was. Hope they never live through either of those events, but they do shape one’s life.
    Sending wishes to you for a most blessed holiday.
    (Texas)


    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing the true meaning of cheerful gifting.
    May our Lord and Saviour continue to bless you as you serve Him. Grace and Peace.
    (Texas)


    Hi Karen
    Good devotional. I wish that more emphasis was put in the gift of Jesus than on all the “gifts” people try to give, almost forced to give. I am so tired of all the stress this causes on so many people
    Thank you for writing and a Blessed Christmas to you and yours.


    Dear Sister Karen,
    Your Family didn’t have much, but it seems like they sure had love and unity. Now that is true wealth no one can take away. Your writings are very heartfelt. I look forward to hearing more!
    God bless you.

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