Have you ever taken a love language test? I have and I discovered that I am really keen on giving people gifts. Which was a no-brainer, I have always and still love to give gifts. I have been known to spend over an hour wrapping just one gift for friends at Christmas, no lie. A little over the top? Maybe. But, it’s an extravagant expression for me, and one that I can count as total joy.
For others it’s popping the hood of a friend’s broke down car to fix it, cooking a three course meal for someone, or sitting down to hand write a letter, “just because.” And for some, giving in these ways is an easy thing to do. As a matter of fact, it can accurately be counted “all joy” in their lives to do so. It doesn’t take them any more or less time as the next person, but it’s the position of their heart that makes the difference. That is what makes their gift beautiful and of value.
Now picture this. You’re sitting and working on someone’s car because if you don’t, your friendship is over. You’re cooking an amazing meal because you really need that promotion. You’re hand writing a letter because you gotta make up for forgetting their birthday and the “birthday text or Facebook message” will no longer do. Gift’s aren’t good because they are gifts, they are good because of the spirit in which they are given.
Far too many people give out of obligation. I get it, I’ve been there. Even with it being my love language, it’s work and it takes time and effort. But the heart matters, and your view on giving will directly effect your relationship with God.
Obligation will rob your gift of meaning and value before it ever exchanges hands.
During the first 20 years of my life, I tried really hard to be a good Christian. My priorities were all over the place but I faithfully laid my gifts at the altar of religion so that I might earn love in return. You see, obligation is a driving force behind religion, and it often robs the meaning and value of your gift before it ever exchanges hands.
When Jesus began to reveal Himself to me, my paradigm on what I had learned about him, all changed. My eyes were opened as He began to show me that what He did over 2,000 years ago was fueled out of His love for the Father and his love for people. And for the first time, I began to understand what a good gift really looked like.
It was no longer about giving 10% because it was my duty, reading my bible because I have to, or serving in church because I needed to earn love. My gifts were selfish in nature and for the first time in my life they were about to become selfless.
As Paul says to his followers in Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
After a few years along my renewed journey, I found myself reading my bible, worshiping, and spending time in prayer, because I wanted to get to know Him more. And now When I serve others, it is because He showed me a better way. And the reason I truly desire to give Jesus what I have, is simply because I love him.
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