Yesterday I wrote about what it was like to receive a gift you really didn't want or have any use for. As a kid, receiving a case of various types of vitamins was not my idea of a holly jolly Christmas. Over the years, I would use that experience as an illustration in messages about how perfect God's gift is to us.
During one sermon I talked about this very idea, that God knows what we need and what we want. He always gives the perfect gift. I talked about how we sometimes missed the mark in our giving... "Like, you wouldn't give me certain things, because they just wouldn't make sense as a gift to me. You wouldn't walk up to me and give me say... pot holders for Christmas. I don't want pot holders. I wouldn't use pot holders. They just wouldn't make any sense, so they would not be a good gift."
It just so happened that this was the Sunday before Christmas. As we were going around giving out cards to people in the church, we received a card and small package from one of our dear friends. My wife opened the package and lo and behold, crocheted pot holders. I just stood there, mortified. The lady stood there smiling at me. Yep. Less than 30 minutes after talking about how pot holders would not be a good gift for me, I received some handmade pot holders.
You see, sometimes it isn't about what you think you want, or what you think you should get. It is about being a humble and grateful recipient. The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
The blessing is in the giving.. not the receiving. In a real sense, who cares what you get? If a gift is given in love and thoughtfulness, why would I despise it? Who cares if it is 'useful'? The fact that someone thought enough of me to do something nice is a rare and valuable thing in itself. In a world that is in many ways more careless and thoughtless than ever, the mere fact that someone cares enough to give me something they made is quite powerful. The blessing is in the giving... even for me... that someone else gave to me is a blessing.
This holiday, you will likely get some things you don't want or desire. But if that thing comes from someone who cared enough about you to put forth the giving effort, receive it graciously, and treasure it. And give, not just out of compulsion... but out of true love and generosity.
When 'giving' is seen as the gift, receiving becomes a spiritual act instead of a greedy one. For God loved the world in this way:[j] He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.