“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 )
It was with joy and gladness that I first heard it said that giving is not restricted to just dollar bills and change. Giving can be done in all sorts of ways; I do not have a great deal of money, especially right now. But I can still donate my time and energy, and I do so quite often. Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, let me go on to what I want to say.
The quote that is matched to this verse for today reflects the writer’s contention that there are two ways to get enough things; one is to acquire more and more. The other is to want or need less. And if one’s needs are small, there is bound to be surplus and this can then be given or donated to those who need. This philosophy (if you did not know) is in direct opposition to the attitude that the one who dies with the “most toys” wins. What is won what I am not sure.
Televisions are a good example of this. When the government said that television programs had to be broadcasted digitally, there was a nationwide movement to move up to better qualities of television. Wide-screen digital or high definition became the benchmark. And technology has obligingly improved since then. Better color, wider screen, highly defined picture, and thinner set are now the cutting edge. Not to mention DVD players, cable boxes and any of a number of accessories and devises. New and improved entertainment is only one of a multitude of possibilities.
And I want to be very clear on this next point. It does not “count” if a person donates or gives away the technology they no longer need because they have bought an improvement. That is NOT giving away what you do not need. There is a reason that tithing is to be the first fruits and not what is left at the bottom of the bowl or barrel.
So what does this verse have to do with peace? By giving with thought and sincere intent, one is at peace not only with one’s self (peace of mind) but one has honored the other by giving the best that there is (peace amongst neighbors). You and your neighbor will know if you have “cheated” and given that which you no longer need or never needed in the first place. One does not have to give until it “hurts”; but giving should mean that the gift should come with the purest motivation and the best of intention. Anything less dishonors the recipient and makes a mockery of giving because Christ gave to us.
May you gentle reader give with cheer so that you as the giver and the other as the receiver are blessed with peace. Selah!