“A CHEERFUL GIVER”
One Friday afternoon in the Philippines, I picked up my daughter from her school’s dormitory for her to spend the weekend with us at home. On our way home, we would pass by the office of the telephone company and the McDonald’s. My daughter said, “Dad, please stop by McDonald’s. I want to buy fries because I feel very hungry.” I said, “OK.” So, I gave her some money to buy the fries, but insisted that we would first stop by the telephone company to pay the telephone bill before stopping at the McDonald’s.
When I got out of the car at the parking lot there were several vendors offering their goodies for sale. They were trying to persuade me to buy some, but I refused and said, “No, I won’t buy your goodies now; the next time I’ll buy.” Then I left my daughter in the car and proceeded to the office of the telephone company.
After I had completed my business, I got back into the car and started to drive home. And suddenly I remember that my daughter wanted to stop by McDonald’s to buy some fries. When I turned on the right signal en route to the McDonald’s, my daughter said, “Never mind, Dad; don’t stop. Just go straight home.” I said, “But you told me that you were hungry and wanted some fries. I already gave you money for them.” She replied, “I gave all the money to the vendors. They needed the money more than I needed the fries. It’s OK, Dad; just forget about the fries.”
That afternoon I felt ashamed because my daughter taught me a good lesson about Christ-like generosity and how to be a cheerful giver—the thing I didn’t do.
Paul states in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “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” (NIV). This text doesn’t imply that God doesn’t love us if we are not a cheerful giver. God still loves us, no matter what, but He wants us to give offerings with a cheerful attitude and be happy in our giving.
We can give without love, but we cannot refrain from giving if we have love in our hearts. God loves a cheerful giver.