When we were traveling in a music ministry with our young children, we were given a gift. A friend didn’t give us his car, but he loaned it to us for a week to transport our family around the town where we were ministering. I should have been grateful. Well, I was. But I was more embarrassed to be seen driving his big Cadillac. I cared too much about people who might assume it was ours and think, “Why do people who live off the gifts of God’s people spend that money on luxury cars?”
Later in our travels, after being given a gift, a lady looked me right in the eye and said, “Do you have trouble receiving?” I had to think about that. Who was I to deny someone the joy of giving, when it was Jesus who prompted them to give? He is the one who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (see Acts 20:35).
My grandmother quoted that saying when I overheard her telling a friend of her experience. She had taken me (she, who hardly ever went anywhere) to a fine department store in the city where she treated me to two new dresses. I was home from college for Christmas vacation and she was very proud of me and my musical pursuits. I had never been given such an extravagant gift before and I was overjoyed and overwhelmed. How could she possibly be happier than I?
Much later in life, I began to understand the truth. It gives me great pleasure to give generously to someone, not expecting anything in return except gratitude. Maybe sometimes not even that. God has given us many gifts. We don’t deserve them. We can’t repay Him. The greatest gift is eternal life (Romans 6:23). That is of infinite value. There’s nothing we could ever do to earn it. But I believe it gives Him great pleasure when we receive His gift humbly and gratefully.
Have you received God’s gift of Jesus? How are you showing Him how grateful you are?
Click here to listen to “The Best Gift” which is the 3rd cut on my album “Sing Praise.”