An Attitude of Gratitude: Cheerful Giving
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”2 Corinthians 9:7
For most of my life, I’ve tithed my income to the church. In fact, I had little choice growing up. As a pastor’s kid, my dad automatically deducted 10% of my allowance to go into the church offering plate. When I started getting a real paycheck, it was up to me to tithe it to the church. And I did! Tithing became another duty and responsibility for my life. However, it’s not until more recent times that I’ve become a “cheerful giver.”
My shift to cheerful giving occurred when I saw giving as less of a responsibility and more of an investment in the work of God. When I could connect my offering to the impact, I began to find joy in giving. What I mean is this: Instead of seeing my offering as a duty to keep the building maintained and the staff paid, I began to connect my offering to the stories and testimonies of people’s faith. When I saw my giving as investing in changed lives and a better community, I cared a lot more about giving what I could…and even more, if possible!
At First UMC, we have many cheerful givers. And I don’t just mean financially. We have so many people who invest their time, talents, sweat, and tears into caring for our church and investing in its future. And it’s all about understanding our role and the impact we can all make when we offer our gifts in service to God so that lives and communities might be transformed in Jesus’ name. As we prepare for Stewardship Sunday on November 24, I hope you will join me in committing to invest in the work of God here in Freehold and around the world. God has great things in store for the church in 2020. I invite you to invest (with joy!) in what God has planned!