Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “…God loveth a cheerful giver.” 1
God loves all of us all the time. Yet when we don’t give or give grudgingly, God may not delight in us, though we be loved.
When it comes to giving cheerfully, I typically think of the person for whom I was named, St. Margaret. Margaret was Queen of Scotland, mother to eight children, and my ancestor 2. Though St. Margaret lived nearly 1000 years ago, the deeds of her life were preserved by means of her daughter, who insisted that Margaret’s confessor create a written record by which the daughter could remember the mother she had not known well.
The life the confessor captured is an epitome of the giving Christian. Margaret would feed hundreds of orphans each day of the two Lenten periods she observed each year (before Easter and before Christmas). As Margaret visited the inhabitants of her country, she would give away all that she had. And she encouraged those around her to give similarly.
In Church today, one friend described how those actions we may see as sacrifices can later be seen as investments. By cheerfully giving and serving, we create a better world, both for ourselves and for those around us.
As King David wrote, The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof…. 3 Everything we have is God’s, by that view. The only thing we have of ourselves is our free will. If we willingly, gladly, give to God and His children, then we have given the only gift we have to give.
Who are your examples, when you think of Paul’s admonition to give cheerfully?