Giving

 

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”

Anne Frank

The best gifts are unexpected, unsolicited and given unconditionally without expecting anything in return. My favorite Christmas gifts are those you will not find on my wish list. One of the gifts my daughter gave me last year were magnets that say, “Queen of all moms,” “Best mom in the universe,” and “Mom, my B.F.F.” The magnets probably didn’t break my daughter’s bank, but to me they were priceless in her unmistakable love and devotion.

A few weeks ago a friend brought me her homemade guacamole as an early birthday gift. She remembered how I raved about her dip several years ago and took the time to not only prepare it but drive thirty minutes in the snow to deliver it. Her thoughtfulness made me feel loved not only by her, but especially by God.

Yesterday during worship a friend and her seven year old daughter named Hannah came up to me with a handmade gift of a drawing. On the paper was a picture of myself with Hannah holding the book I wrote. Her written words, “I’m excited that you are writing. Keep it up,” encouraged my heart. When they walked away I burst into tears. I felt so unconditionally loved by her sweet gift, as if God Himself poured out His love for me through her.

This wasn’t the first time God used Hannah to minister to me. I’ve known her since she was two and for some reason, she has been drawn to me. I didn’t do anything to deserve her love; God simply placed it in her heart.

I bet Hannah smiled when she created her love gift, thinking about the joy it would bring me. In her childlike innocence and purity of heart, she didn’t expect anything in return. She gave not to get, but because she loved.

Acts 20:35b says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” God expounded this truth to me with these words, “When you give your life away you receive so much more than if you kept your life unto yourself. Giving, serving and blessing others only returns back to you and is one of the secrets to contentment.”

God’s most priceless Christmas gift, His Son Jesus, was unsolicited. No one expected God to come to earth embodied as a little baby in a manger. His unconditional love for us is clearly expressed through His gift of Jesus.

This Christmas season give presents that are unexpected, unsolicited and given unconditionally. Those who receive thoughtful, non-wish list presents will feel unconditionally loved by you and God. As a result, you will discover the joy that comes from giving.

“We are never more like God than when we give.”

Charles Swindoll

Relevant Reflections:

  1. Describe a gift you received which made you feel unconditionally loved by God.
  2. Do you give to get or simply to bless?
  3. Think about a gift you could give to someone this Christmas that is unexpected, unsolicited and unconditional.
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