So I have asked these other brothers to arrive ahead of me to see that the gift you promised is on hand and waiting. I want it to be a real gift and not look as if it were being given under pressure.
But remember this - if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Every one must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don't force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes. God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others. it is as the Scriptures say: "The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to him forever."
For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on, good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest.
2 Corinthians 9: 5-10 (TLB)
Jesse Jeanne Neve is from Minnesota. While on vacation with their four children, they were eating at a family restaurant, Their six-year-old, Jon, noticed the candy bars below the counter by the cash register. He had put his earnings from helping around the house in his pocket "just in case," so after dinner, Jon wandered toward the candy. Glancing over, Jesse noticed he was conversing at length with their server.
Returning to the table, Jon proudly displayed three giant packages of peanut butter cups with four cups each. Jesse felt a little disappointed. She had hoped he would spend his money on a souvenir from the trip instead - something more lasting than candy. Laying the three packages on the table he said, "I did the math, and I bought three packs so that each of us can have two!" He smiled broadly, excited by his plan. He was not "wasting" all his money on candy as Jesse had thought. He was using his money to give them all a treat.
God wants us to be like Jon. Our Creator wants us to look beyond ourselves when we have abundance, "doing the math" so that we can share our wealth. The joy that we gain in sharing our gifts is a part of the gift itself.
Prayer: Dear God, show us ways that we can be cheerful givers. Empower us to think beyond ourselves and share what we have with others, in Jesus' name. Amen.