The Essence of Giving Good Gifts.
Thinking back over this past Holiday season, I am reminded once again about the importance of gift giving. For some, giving gifts can be a burden – both because of unrealistic expectations and because gifts can be given in so many bad ways (to bribe or manipulate for example). Under these circumstances it is easy to see how we can forget just how significant a ministry of gift giving can be. Gary Chapman reminds us that it is one of the 5 love languages. For some, it is the primary way that they desire to be loved. Gifts come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and forms. Good gifts are not always material or expensive. Good gifts most often are the ones that are thoughtful, sacrificial, self-made, or connect someone to memories of people or special events. Gifts can bring joy, encouragement, smiles, laughter, and hope. They help others to experience our love through something more than words. Gift giving can also a ministry, one that can be gifted and empowered by God. Even if giving gifts seems hard for us, we cannot let that stop us from learning to communicate the love we have for those whom God has placed in our lives.
The word gift appears 159 times in the Bible. Below are some of my favorite verses on gifts; they give us insight to the significance and purpose of gifts in our lives.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Thanks be to God for God’s indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Acts 10:5