I have learned that giving is such a fulfilling thing! It was modeled to us by God Himself when He gave His only begotten Son to us to save the world from eternal condemnation. Giving is not dependent on the condition of our checkbooks or the balances of our savings account. Giving is dependent on the condition of our hearts.
Giving shouldn’t be expensive or entail expense. There are many ways to give. Let me share some creative ways to give gifts that are straight from the heart:
1. A homemade gift. Giving something you make represents time and effort invested on the recipient's behalf. Each year, I always make it a point that I make something for Christmas as gifts. It has become a family tradition and we just love the thought of giving something that my family makes. (Whet Your Appetite)
2. A treasured gift. Give something you already have, something that is of special value to you. Not your junk, but your treasure. Don't ask the question, "What can I buy for Anna?" Ask the question, "What do I have that would mean a lot to Anna?" I happen to one time weed out my closet and found treasured curtains that I sewed myself. I asked the Lord to whom I should be giving them and He impressed in my heart the names of people to whom I should give the curtains to.
3. A gift of encouragement. Tell someone what they mean to you. Write it down so they can read your encouraging words several times. Writing it down can help you say it better and requires more time and thought. You can also make a tape or CD of encouraging words and thoughts for those who can't see well or for that hurried mom who spends much of her life in a car. In my journal, I have several notes tucked as bookmarks for special verses; notes of encouragement from my daughter and friends that have kept me on my feet during difficult times. (Daisy’s letter to me)
4. A blind gift. Give a gift to someone you don't know; a gift that is given in Jesus' name, just because you love Him. I recently read an article about a millionaire who sets aside large sums of money at Christmas. Dressed in a disguise, he then walks the streets, pressing $100 bills into the hands of the needy. "It makes my whole year," he says. As for my experience, I am always encouraged to receive a surprise gift like a bar of chocolate from an anonymous giver. My heart just bloats to know that someone thinks of me.
5. A secret gift. Give a gift to someone you know without them knowing who gave it. Give with no hidden motive and with no possible benefit to yourself. Like most families in the ministry, Bim and I are on an extremely tight budget. At several occasions, we had no money for groceries, a fact we shared with no one but God. We wanted to see what He would do. And just as when we needed it, an anonymous giver sends us either bags of groceries or an envelop with money or check in it. God is awesome! We don't know who gave us the gifts but every time I remember them, I ask God to bless them for their secret gift. (“Do You believe in Santa Claus?)
6. A gift of time. When we give thirty minutes of time, we are giving thirty minutes of life. My mother is in her old age and as often as I possibly can, I see to it that my family visits her. Along with Bim and the children, we spend a few hours with her. Our presence means a lot to her and I can see it in her eyes that she treasures our visits.
May you find real meaning in giving by sharing a part of what you are blessed with!