A mother who wanted to teach her daughter the joy of giving gave her both a quarter and a dollar to take to church one Sunday morning. She told her daughter that she could put in either one; the choice was hers. As they were leaving church, the mother asked her daughter what she ended up giving to the Lord.
The little girl replied, "I was going to give the dollar, but just before the offering, the man in the pulpit said we should be cheerful givers. I knew I would be a lot more cheerful if I just gave the quarter."
That is how a lot of us are. We think, "I am not cheerful about giving, so I suppose I had better keep it for myself." But we need to understand that God wants to change our hearts. We need to discover the joy of giving. And if we haven't yet discovered it, then we need to ask God to change our hearts, because giving is a blessing. We can experience joy in it.
Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Again, it is hard for children to wrap their minds around that truth. But as we get older, and especially if we become parents, we discover the joy of giving. We actually find more pleasure in giving than receiving. The word Jesus used for "blessed" is a word that could be translated "happy." In other words, the Bible is saying that if you want to be a happy person, then be a generous person. If you want to be a happy person, then be a giving person.