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Gratitude and Joy!

Read: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

God loves a cheerful giver. (v. 7)

I keep this quote from the theologian Karl Barth on my desk: “Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning.” Everything I do as a fundraiser comes from gratitude. Gratitude is the fuel of the fire of giving.

At its heart, giving is a response. Our life, our being, and our salvation all are gifts from God. We respond generously in gratitude.

At least that’s the way it is supposed to work. But I can tell you that some people are givers and others simply are not. Some people don’t give as much as they buy. They offer conditional gifts: “I’ll give you x number of dollars if you will . . .” Sometimes what they want is contrary to a charity’s mission. In those cases the charity should say no to the offer because there are too many strings attached. Most non-profits have “gift acceptance policies” to protect them from their donors!

True givers, those who give out of gratitude, give generously and joyfully without strings. They are the richest people I know. This has been true for ages, as Proverbs 11:24 says: “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” The truly generous have discovered the secret of 1 Timothy 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” True riches are not found in silver or gold but in grateful, joyful, generous hearts. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, ask God to help you find the riches of gratitude and joy.

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About the Author

Jeff Munroe is the editor of the Reformed Journal and, in addition to being the author of the best-selling book Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher, is also a poet, blogger, and essayist. His work has appeared in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, US Catholic, and The Reformed Journal.

This entry is part 11 of 15 in the series Living Generously