There was a time when I would give, but I never really found it to be a blessing back to myself as I was taught in church. I gave because I had to in order to be seen as a good person. Looking back I can see that it was a sad reason to give and more than that, a sad loss for me.
A simple prayer changed my giving. I asked God to make me a cheerful giver. This was one prayer that He answered quickly. As I remember it, the next weekly passing of the offering plate brought a smile to my face. As I laid my offering into the dish I found myself overwhelmed with thankfulness for what I had to give. I was delighted that I had more than I needed. I was becoming a cheerful giver!
Tomorrow our family is preparing a cookout to raise money for a needy family and some guys over in Iraq who are away from family and friends this Christmas. We call ourselves the Big Givers. But there is an even Bigger Giver! He gave us Himself! Maybe that is the real secret of being a Big Giver: giving from the heart and giving of ourselves. I know that giving selflessly is something that changed my heart into being a cheerful giver. I looked at the need of others as more than my wants.
How much we raise tomorrow is not the most important thing. What is important is that we do it as if we were doing it for the Lord.