Wednesday December 17, 2008
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7.
As I look at the last two days readings, it seems the editor of these texts doesn’t think we give adequately and needs to address this issue. Not that we don’t give, but it may too often be with a sense of obligation, even resentment, rather than generosity. Surely the recipient should be glad that we gave, and not also require that our motives, like travel luggage, should be x-rayed as well. After all, the fact that we don’t feel like giving doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t want to give. Feelings and desires may not always coincide.
On the other side, we may want to give but not be able to. How often have we heard “It’s the thought that counts,” suggesting that wanting to give is sufficient even if we don’t! Especially the things we really want to give: health, wealth and happiness—assuming wealth and happiness are compatible—are usually beyond our ability to provide. That’s part of the reason we pray; we really want these things for those we care about, but only God can ensure them.
I pray for those I care about, and I assume the fervency of my prayers indicate the depth of desire for them. But on occasion, my lack of passion may suggest that I don’t really care; I only feel obligated. But as I suggested at the head of this blog, feeling is an unreliable variable. Please don’t look too closely at my inner feelings and thoughts, they probably don’t reflect my real desire—if they did there would probably be times I wouldn’t pray at all.
So many of you have indicated you are praying for me, and I believe that it is out of a genuine desire for that gift of health for me, and I really appreciate your prayers at whatever level! I’m sure my ability to fulfill the tasks I want to do and my confident spirit are the result of your prayers.