No, Seriously, Stop It!
Just a week on the other side of Christmas and let me say that I love gifts!!! I love receiving gifts, but I love giving them even more. Giving a gift is like giving a really good hug…only they get to keep the gift with them. (If you kept hugging, that might get weird.) I believe that I’m not alone in this. I know a lot of people who love to give. There’s just something that God put in us that makes your insides warm up when you spend time looking for that perfect thing, you package it in something that says you care, and then put it in the hands of the friend or loved one. Then the best feeling comes when their face lights up with joy and amazement.
While I believe that God put that desire in us to bless others, I also believe that it is a learned trait. In other words, I think you have to actually start giving to experience it to the fullest. “Well, duh! (You don’t get a lot of duh nowadays.) You can’t experience it if you don’t give something in the first place.” True, but what I mean is, while you can experience it once, I think it builds inside the more you do it…like muscle.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, God is the biggest giver of all. That’s the real point of Christmas. God gave, and many times in His Word He asks us to give. He asks us to give to those who truly don’t have. He asks us to give thanks to Him for His provision. And He asks us to give a tithe of our first fruits. (If you haven’t experience this kind of giving yet, you just don’t realize what you’re missing out on.) I believe He asks us to give so that we become better people. I believe He has us to give so that we realize we don’t actually own it. It’s incredible how many times you hear someone brag on a person because of what they gave. Their time, their talent, their capacity.
When you have a spirit of giving, you almost can’t stop. When you know that He owns it all, you don’t have a problem giving it away. There’s an example of this in the Bible. In Exodus 36:3-7 it shows us how the people gave so much of their freewill offerings that Moses had to send out a decree saying, “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?!?! The people of God gave so much that they were RESTRAINED from giving. When you have an eternal perspective, you realize that nothing really has sentimental value.
A dear friend of mine once told me that God has given us all gifts. And to hide that gift from others is like smacking God in the face. Here’s the thing…it has to start with me. It doesn’t matter if anyone else is giving. If I don’t, I can’t experience the gift…and neither can anyone else. The great thing is that when I give, it’s like a big ole hug from God!