Deuteronomy 15:10 – Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)
Our mailboxes overflow at this time of year with pleas to "Give generously". Our telephones and doorbells ring, and we are asked to donate to yet another good cause.
Food banks need filling, and toys need collecting for kids who otherwise wouldn't be getting a gift.
We cannot possibly begin to donate money to every charity that calls — but what we can do is to give goods that we already have, and to give of ourselves.
On Sunday, I gave all my bottles to two little fellows collecting for their hockey team.
Today I delivered all my copies of Daily Bread and The Upper Room to a street mission, sorted through some things to donate to a garage sale in aid of a family that has recently experienced a terrible tragedy, took some older towels to the SPCA, gave dry food goods to the food bank, and made 40 more pillows for the palliative ward. Tomorrow I will donate books to a store in aid of literacy.
Except for the pillows, all the others were things that I had in my home that I could easily do without. The only money that it cost was the gas that it took to take things to the different places. Nothing was given grudgingly; in fact, it felt very good to be giving things that I didn't need to places that did need them.
God has asked that we give generously — not that we go into debt doing it, nor that we give what we are not able to. He asks that we give what we feel we can — and He has given us the promise of His blessing in return.
Prayer: As Christmas comes upon us, may we experience the gift of giving in ways which are not necessarily monetary. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.