You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT
He gave until the end.
As a teenager, he was caught up in the Holocaust and separated from his family. He nearly died but amazingly survived his experience in a Nazi death camp. After the war, he made his way to America where, in 1950, he was drafted into the Army and fought in the Korean conflict.
Henri Landwirth’s giving career began in 1952 in New York City. Later, he managed the Starlite Motel in Coca Beach, Florida. Then he purchased a Holiday Inn franchise in Orlando and offered rooms to the Make-a-Wish foundation for terminally ill children and their families.
His giving took on a new nature when he heard of a terminally ill girl named Amy who wanted to see Mickey Mouse before she died. She didn’t make it. So in 1989, Landwirth opened the Give the Kids the World Village. At this Kissimmee resort, critically-ill children and their families could enjoy a week’s vacation.
When Landwirth died at the age of 91, Pamela Landwirth, president and CEO of Give the Kids the World said of him, “Henri was a remarkable man who worked tirelessly to help our precious children and their families.”
Though we have no record in the Bible of the quote Paul uses, Jesus certainly exemplified that God loves a cheerful giver. He gave sight to the blind, healed legs to those who had crippled legs, cleansed skin of lepers, hearing to the deaf, forgiveness to those who asked, instruction to those who desired it, and life to the dead.
Some give because others have coerced them to. Pressure isn’t a proper motive for giving. God wants us to give because our heart prompts us to—and He is the one behind the prompting. We give willingly because God has given so much to us.
God doesn’t want us to give because we fear His judgment if we don’t, because we are following tradition we’ve been taught, or because we’ll feel guilty if we don’t. He wants us to give because we’ve been given to. No greater gift can be given than for a person to lay down their lives for others. And Jesus did this through His ultimate act of giving on the cross.
Ask God for opportunities to give as well as the means to do it. You’ll be surprised at what He sends your way.
Prayer: Father, may our giving be as cheerful as Yours was to us.