Giving or Receiving?
Is it better to give or receive? Don't get me wrong, I love to receive gifts. When my birthday and Christmas approach, I am asked by my family to make a list of things I would like to receive, so I dutifully obey.
I find it very difficult to remember what I want. Through the year I often think, 'I could do with...' but when it comes around to making my list, I forget all those things and sit trying to think of things to put on it.
I love opening my parcels and seeing what has been bought for me, and the happiness on my family's faces when they know they have bought me something that will bring me pleasure.
I think that it is fair to say that my greatest pleasure comes from giving gifts to others. I try to stick to a budget, but there is always something else I find that I would like to buy for my loved ones. In the end I have to be very strict and know when to stop buying.
I love to give generously, whether or not I am receiving anything in return. In 2 Corinthians 9: 6 - 7 , we read about "the cheerful giver. We have often heard the phrase, "you reap what you sow"; well that is the essence of this Bible passage. It talks about how we are measured by what we give, that we should give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, but as we have decided in our hearts.
Now we can all give to receive, can't we? If we think there is a reward, it is easy to give more, however, the key is the beginning of verse seven, that each one of us must give as we have decided in our hearts. If our heart isn't in the giving, and we are only doing it either to receive or to "tick a box", then we are only playing 'lip-service'.
In the Corinthians passage, it talks about how God loves a cheerful giver. No matter how little or how much we have to give, if we give it with a cheerful heart, that is what counts.