The Blessed Gift of Giving

Posted: Jan 4, 2008 in Community, Meaningless, Opinions
Tags: , ,

What a holiday! I am glad it’s over. Anyone else glad it’s over?

Sure, it was a blessing to see old friends and family but the occasion seems often too contrived and lacking in authenticity. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone gives for selfish or contrived reasons. Many who give year around love the excuse to give even more and do so with genuine and without expectation of receiving hearts. To you, I applaud and thank you. Moreover, I deeply love my family, I love seeing old friends and I love being around those that I only see rarely and sometimes even once a year, to learn about how God has worked over the last year, to rejoice in the success and to suffer with those who are recovering from difficult times in life. To be sure, there is a truly genuine side to our gathering but…

…then comes the gift giving. Perhaps, I am cynical because when it comes to gift giving I don’t like to give because of a season, Personally, I like to give when it is unexpected, truly from a gracious stance and selfless (though the debate of such viability is long). Why does it take birthdays, Valentines, anniversaries, or insert any other special occasion to show our love and appreciation.

Now, please don’t mistake my cynicism for a lack of appreciation. To be sure, I felt greatly honored this Christmas to receive from the servants at VineLife a grandiose gift of the infamous iPhone. I was blown away and completely not expecting that our group would rally together, take up a collection and then buy me a gift of gratitude. I was truly humbled by the gesture.

Yet, at the same time as I reflected on the moment, I was deeply saddened that gifts of equal magnitude could not be shared by the true workers of VineLife like; Logan, Katie and last but definitely not least my wife. Oh and I don’t want forget the whole slew of people who give countless hours to setup and tear down of our Portable Church (4-5 hours). Many of which went from not even attending a church, to full blown ministry of set up and tear down 4-5 hours per week. Hence, my deep humility in receiving such an awesome and unexpected gift.

That said, however, my point is furthered, are we really so self focused, busy and/or self indulgent that we must have days, if not, entire weeks and months set up to focus on others. Like the unexpected nature of the gift (iPhone or other) given in surprise and without an expectation of return, can we begin to think more often of ways to share the graciously given gifts we have received from the Father. Is this not the life Christians are called to?

My hope and my dream for my family, both church and biological, is that we may grow into giving hearts that seek to give out of gracious and humble hearts. To give out of season is to give without expectation, with love, with thoughtfulness and contrived only by the overwhelming sense of humility resulting in a recognition of God’s display of affection through the gift of His Son. May we stand out in holiness through our gift giving and proclaim the Good News until he comes.

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