this morning. I thought it was great and it touched my heart.
The true story is told of a self-made millionaire who had lived in Born and raised in a ghetto, he worked hard and achieved much. Anyone who knew this man would testify to the fact that he was generous - to a fault, some would say. One year, the man was disturbed by an attitude of selfishness and greed that seemed to pervade the Christmas holiday season and everyone around him. Not one to condemn, the millionaire decided that since he had been given so much, it was up to him to do his part in combating greed and came up with an unusual plan. Wearing a disguise, this man stuffed his pockets with $100 dollar bills and set out for a walk on the streets of . When he saw someone in need, he whipped out one of the bills, pressed it into that person's hands and with a "Merry Christmas", made his way down the street. "It was the most wonderful part of my holiday season," the man reported, and he has been doing it every since. his entire life.
God is much more interested in our motive for giving than in the gift itself. If that motive is tainted with greed, the gift simply does not count. A powerful way to guard against greed is to choose joy over greed. Giving with joy is Kingdom giving! Before you give, ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” If the answer is “nothing”, then go ahead and give the gift.
When our children were in middle school, we owned what I affectionately called a “Mini-Gym”. It was a set of bar bells, a weight lifting bench and a few free weights. Both Jered and Danna loved their “gym” and used it almost every day. When rolled around, we learned that two of their good friends, Jeff and Jeremy, were not going to have much of a because their dad had lost his job. Jered came up with a plan. “Mom,” he said, “Danna and I have talked about it. We think that Jeff and Jeremy would love to have the gym. But we don’t want them to know we gave it to them, because they might be embarrassed. What do you think?” I thought I was in the presence of two joyful givers and quickly joined them in their plan.
A few days before Christmas, Jered and I took the gym apart and loaded it in our car while Danna found a huge red bow. Together, we made a sign that read, “Merry Christmas! We love you!” Danna blew up balloons while Jered dug out some Christmas lights. We enlisted the help of a neighbor who had a key to our friend’s house and joined in the fun by agreeing to find out when the coast was clear, unlocking the back door and letting us in. At the designated time, off we went, laughing and singing Christmas carols. We parked down the street until the neighbor called, giggling, to let us know she was all set. Once we were inside, we raced to assemble the gym, post the sign, tie the balloons and tape the lights to the front door, leading our friends to their Christmas surprise on the back porch. We then high-tailed it home as if the was hot on our trail! The neighbor reported that just minutes after the boys returned, she heard shouting and “whooping and hollering”. The joy of that still lingers today. Greed doesn’t hold a candle to joyful giving!So I guess we could say that giving keeps us from getting all stopped up with greed. Stopped up people are miserable people. Miserable? Give.