Giving Joy

At this time of year (Stewardship Season, as we call it) we are reminded that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” As I was meditating on this verse I asked myself, “When have I had the greatest joy in giving?” Initially, I drew a blank. I honestly don’t think of myself as a giver. It’s not that I’m stingy; I just don’t normally take much time to give gifts. But there are times I’ve had a lot of fun giving―especially to my family.

When our children were younger, I had fun with their “big gift” for Christmas. I would write riddles that gave a series of clues leading them on a treasure hunt for their gift. (I’ve since learned many parents do this―but I thought I was quite clever to think it up!) I was filled with anticipation for days as I wrote the clues.

One memory of giving stands above all others: when I picked out Sarah’s engagement ring. I had looked through a number of catalogues and gone to lots of stores–without Sarah. For some reason, I had the idea that this was all up to me, unlike most of today’s couples who go shopping together. It was 1973, and that explains a lot about my choice of ring. After visiting a number of stores one Saturday, I arrived at Shillito’s, a department store in downtown Cincinnati, and there it was: the ring of my dreams. It was a beautiful opal surrounded by eight small diamonds. It looked like a daisy―one of Sarah’s favorite flowers. I could hardly wait to give it to her!

There’s also great joy in giving to God’s work at Trinity. One of our members recently contacted me about making a special gift to Trinity. As we spoke, this person’s voice choked up with emotion as they said, “Doug, it is such a joy to give this. It comes right from my heart.”

As you think about your support of Trinity, I hope you will think of giving with joy. God is working in our midst. You can see it with the crowded parking lot nearly every day of the week. We have MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) moms flooding the campus with their precious children on Thursday mornings, and high school students bringing their friends to Youth Alpha Wednesday evenings. We have mission partners from around the world who look to Trinity as their family and local ministries who count on us as one of their most faithful partners.

We usually think of charitable giving as our gifts to charity. We give; others are the beneficiaries. Biblically, we need to reverse this: our charitable giving arises because we have received God’s charity in Jesus Christ. We give because God first gave to us.

Someone said, “It is possible to give without loving; but it is impossible to love without giving.”

See you in church!