Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
God loves a cheerful giver. I love this phrase from Corinthians, not just in its meaning for alms and good works. God doesn’t just mean that we smile when we write out a check or grin when we drop off clothes at Goodwill (thought I think that’s a good idea too.) When I think of God loves a cheerful giver, it reminds me of finding God in all things, in our day-to-day lives -- not only when we are in church or praying or performing service. I want to be a cheerful giver among my co-workers, my neighbors, the woman at the checkout line at the grocery store.
I can give of my time and my smile. I can be patient and kind, even when I do not feel overly patient or kind. I can take a deep breath before becoming annoyed. It is those seemingly small times in life, when we give of ourselves that I believe we are truly becoming a cheerful giver. It is when we truly pay attention to our family members, instead of just nodding because we’ve heard that story before. We can be cheerful givers when we put away or turn off the TV or the cell phone and pay attention to those around us.
The words of today’s gospel also serve as a reminder that what we do in service, in prayer, or in fasting should come so naturally to us that it is a seamless part of our lives. The giving and the praying is not an exception but the rule. I do pray that God helps me become a cheerful giver.
By C. Zuegner