Ninety-three year old Cecil Green climbed the stairs to the podium as the crowd watched. Cecil had already given away more money than most people ever see in their lifetimes. He had given millions of dollars to various organizations, and now he was being given an award for all the good things his generosity had accomplished.
As he reached the top of the wobbly steps to the podium, he shook loose from the people who supported his ninety-three year old form on either side and walked toward the podium. With each step he seemed to get more excited and energetic, until suddenly he stopped, looked at the crowd, and broke into a dance that looked something like an Irish jig.
"I am so excited," he said when he stepped to the podium after his little dance, "and I appreciate this award very much. But I don't understand why someone should be given such an award for doing something so enjoyable. Giving away my money is so much fun I wish everyone could do it. My goal is to be able to give everything away before I die."
Cecil Green had spent much of his life working hard to earn as much as he could. While he enjoyed making money, he didn't really start to have fun until he started giving it away! It seemed that the more he gave away, the more fun he had. He discovered how much fun it was to surprise people with generosity. He discovered how much fun it was to make a difference in other people's lives. He discovered that the greatest thing about making more money was being able to give more away!
That's one of the reasons God wants us to be generous. He wants us to find out Cecil's secret. He wants us to discover how much fun it is to surprise people with generosity. He wants us to experience how much fun it is to give to others. He wants us to learn that the greatest thing about having money, possessions, time, and talents is being able to give them away!
And once we really learn that, we'll discover that we can never out give God.
REFLECT: Do you think money makes people happy? Why or why not? What do you think Jesus meant when he said, "Real life is not measured by how much we own"? In what ways can generosity be fun?
PRAY: "Lord, help me to learn Cecil's secret. I want to find out how much fun generosity can be, and I'll try to start by..."