“A generous person will be enriched, and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.” (Proverbs 11:25, NET)
I have a friend who loves to give gifts. She shops ahead so she always has something on hand to spontaneously give when the occasion arises. I decided long ago that her love language must be receiving gifts and it just spills over into giving gifts. She delights in blessing others and must be one of those “cheerful givers” mentioned in II Corinthians 9:7. They give “not grudgingly or of necessity.” They just enjoy blessing others.
(For those unfamiliar with the five love languages as described by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book by that title, they are (1) acts of service, (2) receiving gifts, (3) quality time, (4) words of affirmation, and (5) physical touch.)
the secret giver
Sometimes it’s fun to secretly give gifts. Anonymous giving provides a warm feeling, even though the giver isn’t there to see that person’s excitement and surprise.
Some years ago, several widows in my church received a mystery card with money tucked inside. My mom was one of the recipients, so I was able to witness her happiness in knowing someone had thought of her. They say, “curiosity kills the cat,” and that card just about did her in. It was fun watching her puzzle over it for days—maybe weeks. She never did learn the identity of the mystery giver. I think I recognized the handwriting but never said a word. I suspect it was a friend whose own mom had recently passed away, and this was her way of honoring her mom’s memory.
We should never give with the intent that we will receive something in return. A gift is just that—a gift, not a trade.
Look outside your usual social group to find someone who may need encouragement. Even if the person may not seem to appreciate what you do, give anyway. Luke 6:32-33 tells us, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Give with no expectation of recognition for what you did.
Gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive or glitzy. It can be flowers from your garden, a plate of cookies, a small devotional book, or a gift card for coffee and a donut—use your imagination. Regardless of the monetary value, it’s priceless when given from the heart. Recently, a friend showed up at my door carrying a case of flavored water. She had been shopping and remembered how I enjoyed that particular brand. Another friend occasionally shows up with ice cream from a nearby shop. It’s the thoughtfulness more than the cost of these gifts that touches me.
the blessing returns
Although we do not give to receive, God blesses us when we bless others. Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn expressed it this way: “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” God honors a generous heart.
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38, ESV)
Suggestion: Leave a comment and tell us about a gift that blessed you in an unexpected way.