Good at Giving
The best kind of gift is the one that has a lot of thought, time, and effort behind it. It can be big or small, cube-shaped or un-wrappable. It might require batteries or a collar. That type of gift doesn’t always cost a lot of money. But sometimes it does. The giver keeps it secret for a long time, and the receiver is moved by it.
That kind of gift says, “I noticed. I remembered. I know you, and you are worth it.”
We have a God who gives like that. Think of your absolute favorite dessert, or season, or place, or person. God gave you that. He dreamed it up, crafted it, and wrapped it just for you. And of course he waited for millennia and paid everything he had to give you the gift of his Son. So God is really, really good at giving.
I recently read about someone who was good at giving. She was a widow who offered two small coins to God, while others gave significantly more. Jesus noticed her and pointed her out to his disciples. What Jesus appreciated was not the amount she gave, but the sacrifice the gift represented – it was all she had to live on. Now I’m guessing she put a lot of thought, time, and effort into those two coins. After all, it was between that and groceries. She gave privately and she gave intentionally. And Jesus was moved by it.
Here are some great step-by-step instructions on getting better at giving: “Do good. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18). Sounds like something to hang on the wall in a toddler’s room. However simple, we know that intentional generosity is not always easy. If you are anything like me, you will admit that it’s a lot easier to be good at keeping and wanting than it is to be good at giving. But here’s a thought:
Generosity is not something God needs from us; it is something God wants for us.
Right after those simple instructions on generosity, we read a promise. Those who learn to live generously will “take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19). God wants us to get better at giving because he knows that generosity leads to less worry, better relationships, more trust. God wants us to get better at giving because he knows it leads to true life.
Now it may take practice and it will definitely take effort to get better at giving. It means spending time and money, and sharing space and toys. It means making sacrifices and rejecting self. But let’s take the many opportunities the Christmas season presents to get serious about generosity towards God and the people he has placed in our life. Because He’s worth it, they are moved by it, and we live truer because of it.