Generosity and Gratitude

Tim Beals

READ : 2 Corinthians 9:6-14

The rendering of this ministry … overflows with many thanksgivings to God. (v. 12)

Dave Toycen, president of World Vision Canada, tells the story of Liridan in his book The Power of Generosity. During the conflict in Kosovo, ten-year-old Liridan was forced to flee with his parents to neighboring Albania. While escaping the invading soldiers, Liridan was struck with a rifle butt and his arm was badly broken.

After the dangerous journey to freedom, Liridan and his family were crowded together in an old gymnasium among scores of other refugees, with a severe shortage of water, privacy, and hope. Toycen had a chance to meet and comfort the family, and as he prepared to leave, he noticed a small package of tin foil in Liridan’s good hand.

Earlier a church group had given out small Easter presents for the children – most of whom owned nothing now but the clothes on their backs. Dave writes, “With a child’s spontaneity this traumatized little boy opened his hand, peeled back the foil, broke a section of chocolate into two pieces, and offered one to me. Liridan’s gesture took me completely by surprise. I could only nod and express my appreciation.”

That selfless act illustrates the point of Paul’s message to the Corinthians. The generosity of just one small person can multiply and overflow into many thanksgivings to God.

PRAYER

May we give generously so others will give thanks.