I don’t always give well. Human nature probably plays a part in it, but the other part is most likely just me. I have friends who have this gift. You know them, they see something in a store that reminds them of someone else, they purchase it, and give it. The gift is usually just perfect.
Me? First of all, I rarely, if ever, see things in a store that pop out and say “this would be perfect for, _____.” If I did actually have that happen, it would be an even rarer occasion to actually purchase said product. Not that I don’t want to give, but it just would not cross my mind. The closest I usually come is to tell the person later I saw something they might like.
Then, there is always the challenge of going to buy something for someone on purpose, actually looking for a gift for a specific occasion. This can give me a headache sometimes. I have no idea, really, what people want, what they might like, what they have or don’t have already.
I know, it makes me sound very…I don’t know. I just don’t give well. My friends who have this gift are amazing. They can find the perfect thing for any occasion and seem to always have a sweet little something that makes someone’s day. One thing I have learned, though, after sitting on boards and leading groups: find someone with this gift and make sure they are on the team. They are invaluable.
Have you ever been to a conference or program and gotten a cute little something? Yeah, well, I would never have thought of that, but somebody does, and they do it quite well.
Please don’t feel sorry, though. I have moments when I would love this gift, but I have found that this is not the only form of generosity. I can be generous without having to get a headache to think of something.
In my time, I have set up and broken down many tables; I have moved chairs and boxes; I have swept and mopped many floors. I have the gift of manual labor. Proverbs 11:25 tells us, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes will himself be refreshed.” God wants us to be generous, and who wouldn’t want to be? God has given us so much that to give to others should be a natural response.
Many verses of Scripture talk of generosity and giving, but nowhere does it say that I have to purchase the gift. Over the years, I have found that I can be the gift. Sounds kind of haughty, but I can do some manual labor, a gift that God has given me. I can serve and help in that way and be just as much a blessing to others. Regardless of what our gift looks like, Scripture tells us that we will be refreshed in the giving of it.
God does those kinds of miracles all the time. We give of ourselves to be a blessing and share Him with others, but so many times we are just as blessed, if not more, in the giving of it. Only God can do stuff like that.
Gifts can be in the form of a beautiful or thoughtful gift, in the works of our hands (manual labor), in the words of our mouths, and in so many other ways. Today God has challenged me to be more intentional about this very thing, to look for ways to serve and give to others. I am determined to do so. Whether it’s holding the door for someone or asking how their day is, today I plan to be generous on purpose. How about you? How do you give? Do you give on purpose?