Giving and Receiving!
These two actions account for most of the stress during the Christmas season. “I have to make sure I’m getting them something they REALLY want… I don’t have the $ to get them what they want most.”
“What if they get me something I don’t REALLY want. How do I seem gracious and not disappointed?”
Oh yes, I’ve gotten those gifts that you want to “re-gift” or had the thought, it probably would have been better if they hadn’t gotten me anything at all. Wrong on my part and I will be the first to admit it. I needed a gracious heart to receive because they gave out of love.
But I want to focus on what I’m giving this year and not what I’m getting. The Lord has blessed us so much that the thing I find I desire to give most is more of me. My desire is to have a generous heart – it truly is a gift.
“Lord show me how to live less for myself and more for others. Let me hear your voice more clearly so that I am obedient when you ask me to reach out to help others. More willing to sacrifice my own desires to see others obtain theirs. But most of all to be your hands and feet to those around me. ”
Dave and I have a friend who lived a life of generosity. His first question in any situation was what can I give – how can I express my love in a tangible way. He believed in honoring people, making them feel special. After being around him for a while the generosity he displayed became contagious and we found ourselves looking for ways to give. Sometimes what we gave was nothing more than a smile or a kind word but at other times it has been finances, a meal, clothes, gifts for children and even a car of two. But what we learned is it isn’t the size of the gift, it’s the heart attitude.
“Each one of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You should not give if it makes you unhappy or if you feel forced to give. God loves those who are happy to give. 8 And God can give you more blessings than you need, and you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“He gives generously to the poor;
his goodness will continue forever.”
10 God is the one who gives seed to those who plant, and he gives bread for food. And God will give you spiritual seed and make that seed grow. He will produce a great harvest from your goodness. 11 God will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will make people give thanks to God.” II Corinthians 9:7-11 ERV
Giving is an outreach of God’s heart. It was God the Father who gave the first gift on that Christmas Day. He gave from his heart; He gave his Son! The bigger blessing is in the giving than in the receiving. That’s what God the Father did, He gave His only begotten Son, so that we might have relationship with Him. He gave what He treasured most because of His love for us.
It’s good to give from the heart but this year I desire to give my heart with greater abandon, all of me, to the One who gave all for me!