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Giving Is the Sign of Gratitude

Anne Keegan’s article “Blue Christmas” was a collection of Christmas stories told by Chicago police officers. One was the story of George White.

George lived in a rented room at the YMCA. He had one set of clothes, shoes wrapped with rubber bands to keep the soles from flopping, and a threadbare black overcoat. He spent his mornings napping in an old metal chair by the heater in the back of the 18th District office.

Two officers, Kitowski and Mitch, took an interest in the old man, occasionally slipping him a few bucks. They found out that Billy the Greek over at the G&W grill gave him a hot breakfast every morning, no charge.

The two policemen and their families decided to have George as their guest for Christmas dinner. They gave him presents, which he unwrapped carefully.

As they drove him back to the Y, George asked, “Are these presents really mine to keep?” They assured him they were. “Then we must stop at the G&W before I go home,” he said. With that, George began rewrapping his presents.

When they walked into the restaurant, Billy the Greek was there as always. “You been good to me, Billy,” said George. “Now I can be good to you. Merry Christmas.” George gave all his presents away on the spot.

Generosity is natural when a grateful attitude prevails(Chicago Tribune Magazine – 12/24/95).

It is pleasing to our Heavenly Father when we give to Him and to others.  Our Father is a generous, beneficent, and gracious giver.  All that we have and are has been received from His hand.  To withhold His gifts to us makes us embezzlers for if indeed we are stewards of what He has entrusted to us, then what we do with it will be reviewed by the Owner. To spend recklessly, selfishly, and give stingily is not the sign of one who honors His Master.  Rather, it is a sign of a person that is totally confused about the material possessions over which he has management responsibilities.  Every “financial officer” will be audited and reviewed to determine if he/she is faithful in managing the wealth given to oversee for the owner or is derelict in their duty.

2 Cor. 9:7Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.   Prov.11:25A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  2 Cor. 8:12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  Prov.3:27 – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.