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.
2 Corinthians 9:7 is a wonderful teaching verse. There's a lot to be learned from the one verse. It was in reading and re-reading the verse that I began to see more clearly the many giving connections of
- heart driven giving
- joyful giving
- giving as a spiritual act
- giving that brings delight to God
How amazing it would be if every Christmas gift I give this year actually fulfills each of the above categories and also demonstrates a recognition of the salvation the Christ child affords humanity.
The practice of the Virginia Conference Extended and Appointive Cabinet is to give one gift to a charitable non-profit in honor of the Bishop and all Cabinet members. This year my family's Cabinet gift went to a Uganda school called Divine Hearts. My family selected Divine Hearts because the organization works to help and heal injured children, because the level of poverty in Uganda exceeds most U.S. communities, and the U.S. dollar goes much farther in Uganda than in many places. Last, but not least, we truly feel that Jesus is best honored through gifts that respond to the worst of human suffering.
In re-reading the 2 Corinthians 9:7 verse and thinking through what I've learned, I do believe the Divine Hearts gift was heart driven giving, was joyfully given, was a spiritual act, and was giving that is a delight to God. The continued application is to try and meet these goals in every 2018 Christmas gift.
Maybe I'm overthinking gift giving, but that's ok if God is glorified.
Merry Christmas Friends!!