1 Corinthians 9:7 – Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(In the March/April 1993 issue of Equip the following anonymous reflection was offered to Presbyterian clergy across Canada. It still needs to be heard in 1997.)
- There are three kinds of giving: grudge giving, duty giving, and thanksgiving.
- Grudge giving says, "I have to."
Duty giving says, "I ought to."
Thanksgiving says, "I want to."
The first one comes from constraint; the second from a sense of obligation; the third from a full heart.
Nothing much is conveyed in grudge giving since the gift without the giver is bare. Something more happens in duty giving, but there is no song in it. Thanksgiving is an open gate to the love of God. It is the "Amen" of giving.
Prayer: Let our greatest joy come from the magic moments when we freely give of all that we have and are. Give us the one thing necessary to be complete – a grateful heart. Amen.