“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.
Received a “grocery shower”. Not just food items but also laundry soap etc. The giver seemed to know the food items I cook with.
I was in a Wendy’s restaurant with my peers from Bible college, after a Missions Conference service, when a lady came up to me and asked if I had something to eat. Her two daughters were sitting with us and she came by to our table to say hello. I replied with, “No, I’m just waiting on a drink (a frosty-ccino) to help keep me awake for the drive back to the dorms.” I had also faced a lot of troubles with my car as well as someone accidentally putting diesel into my gas tank, therefore, I wanted to save my money as best as I could, while still being able to give to missions and give the amount that God called me to give. But the mom of the two girls who were sitting with us, blessed me and paid for my food. As a college student, this is truly a blessing and I am beyond thankful for the people of God that understands the joy of giving.
I RECENTLY PLAYED PIANO FOR RESIDRNTS OF AN ASSISTED LIVING CENTER. AFTER I WAS FINISHED ONE LADY CAME OVER TO ME , HANDED ME A FACE MASK ANGEL SHE HAD MADE. SHE DIDN’T KNOW THAT I HAVE A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANGELS. I WAS QUITE TOUCHED BY THE GESTURE OF LOVE & APPRECIATION .
My friend gave me a shrub in memory of my mom. I planted it in the yard where I could see it from my chair in the family room. Every year it blooms with the most incredible and beautiful blossoms. I not only thank the Lord for His amazing creation, but I also thank God for dear friends who care when we are in pain and for a godly mother who prayed for me throughout her lifetime…prayers that never die.
A dear friend once gave me a magnet that she brought from Branson. The magnet describes a woman that is a constant friend. Every time I read it, I get that special feeling of being loved in a special way.