It is More Blessed…
Saint Paul told us that “God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7).
But what does it mean to be a “giver”? And how do we become “cheerful” in our giving?
Well, the answer to the first question is that we are all “givers”, each and every day of our lives. We give our best at our places of work. We give all that we can to our loved ones. We give back to the communities we live in, even if that only means obeying the stop signs we all agree on to give one another the right of way. Giving is all around us. It is integral to who we are and what we do. Without “giving” there could be no community, no society, no civilized life at all.
The key is in being aware of our giving. God calls us to be mindful that we are called to give of ourselves…our love, our wisdom, our compassion, our talent,our resources…so that we may grow together. We support one another and become more whole because we all share in mindful giving. That’s what we mean in the church when we use the word “stewardship”.
Stewardship is mindful giving. It is giving with a purpose. Giving for a reason. By focusing our giving, we become intentional about our efforts, so those efforts have more impact. They make a difference. They become part of growth, part of transformation, changing the world around us for the better.
And what about being “cheerful”?
When we give all that we can to help others, to care for our children, to serve God. We reap what we sow in the pure joy of watching life blossom before us. As the Bible says, “what was cast down is raised up…what was old is made new”. We have the delight of watching the seeds we plant spring up in new hope and healing. We realize that giving is receiving happiness. Therefore, as we give, we can not help but be cheerful in the love that embraces us all.
Here at St. Paul’s we honor all of the many forms that people give of themselves. We celebrate our giving by making it to the glory of God, from which all that we have comes, and through which all that we are is made possible.