|All the Operation Christmas Tree shoeboxes that have been collected at my local church. |
My family and I were happy to give quite a few from us.
Recently I've discovered the Pigeon Pair and Me blog written by Nell, she is embarking on a journey for a year to gift things to other people. All sorts of things. It makes for interesting reading, go and take a peek.
On 17th December she is hosting the BritMums carnival and has set the theme as a carnival of gifts and she is asking people to share where they have given something away.
This really got me thinking about the act of giving and how important it is as a biblical principle. As Christians we understand that everything we have is a gift from God and as such it is just loaned to us and we do not really own it. There is no point in accumulating wealth for the sake of it, money is to be used wisely and not stockpiled. I have to be honest and say this is a lesson that takes some getting used to when you become a Christian, as our society teaches us that if you work hard you can do well and have it all. Wealth and status are seen as indicators of success and actually this is so off the mark. Some of the most successful and content people I know are not wealthy.
Things like regularly giving other people money, putting credit on their electric meter, buying them shoes when they need them or doing grocery shopping for someone else are not the norm here in the UK, but truly they are lessons in humility and gratitude for all you have. Why should some have so much and others so little? It is easy to try and justify it by how hard you work or how lazy they appear to be but we are all Gods children and it makes Him proud to see us caring for each other. My last Church family taught me some amazing lessons in how to share what I have and I was so blessed by the progress I saw in the lives of others as the love and care we show makes a difference to them. Also just think what a great example it is showing to my children as they grow up knowing some people had very little and we opened our house to them and helped make their everyday just a little bit more comfortable.
Giving is an everyday part of my life and that is just the way I like it. I am a different person to who I was eleven years ago before I became a Christian. I can say for sure I am a better person for all the giving I have done in that time and I look forward to finding out what else I need to give away in the future. Some might say we gave up our security when we sold our house this summer and moved to East Sussex, we now live in a borrowed house and earn just a third of what we earned before but actually the freedom we have gained has been worth it. We are now tie free and can go where God asks us to.
We are all called to be good stewards of everything God has gifted us, we must not waste the money or resources we have but discern the best way to use them. I don't always get it right but I'm learning and I'm willing and that is important.
I'm excited to see what my future holds and I know one thing for sure I receive far more than I give and in giving I receive a great deal of satisfaction.
How about you, what is your stance on giving? Does it need to be reciprocal? Or can you literally just gift it?
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