Ginger

The Gift of Giving…….

I love my kids……they so crack me up sometimes.

They have earned some pocket money this year….and are actually pretty good at saving. They have been taught about tithing and faith promise missions. They have their little envelopes they use to put their offerings in. I have been trying to make sure they will be financially responsible when they grow up. I want them to be better than I was…..@@.

When they were little I have always helped them to make something for family and Mom and Dad. We usually tell them that they don’t have to get us a gift…..gifts can come in many different ways. Helping around the house. Doing a kind deed. Things along that line.

We were sitting here the other night and the boys wanted Hubby to take them shopping for me and their sister. I told them it wasn’t necessary for them to get me a gift.

I was surprised by their response. All three piped up and replied, “Now that they know how fun it is to give……they want to give us a gift.” I sat back and just looked at them…..My daughter just looked at me and said “What?” “It is much more fun to give a gift….not that we don’t mind receiving but it really makes you feel better to be on the giving end instead of on the receiving end all the time…”

I really shouldn’t be all that surprised but I was. Charlie said, “Mom. You give so much to everyone and you never expect anything in return. Not just to us but anyone that needs help. No matter what it is, if you can do it you give. We’ve also noticed that you rarely get anything back. Alot of times you are not even acknowledged for what you do for other people. Most of the time no one ever does for you. Even when you were sick no one helped us. We don’t think it’s right. We know that we are probably more guilty then the people you do for because we live with you. So Yes! We want to get you a gift.”

Now, how could I as a mother, ignore this teachable moment gift wrapped and handed to me on a platter. I am a giver. I would rather be in the background giving and doing then out in the front leading. I don’t need to be a chief….I prefer being one of the warriors.

I told the kids that there are so many biblical principles wrapped up in that comment that I’m not even sure where to start. I explained to the kids that if we do things for others expecting something in return, we are doing it for the wrong reason. Never expect anything back….most of the time you get nothing back…If that is why you give then you are giving for the wrong reason. No different then the Pharisee’s who stood out in public spouting long and loud prayers. They wanted people to see how pious they were. God knows the true intent of your heart and when you do things for others because God has placed you in a position to do so….then your reward will be in heaven. Sometimes you may get acknowledgement from others but more than likely not. If you get offended or hurt….which does sometimes happen, then you need to remember why you do what you do. Is it for self gain? For people to see how good you are….? Do you do it because you love people…?

I told the kids that you really have to guard your heart when it comes to this area. It is easy to fall into the trap of “Well, I did this for so and so they never acknowledged what I did for them. Not even a thank you.” Satan can slip in there and make you bitter and take away your joy of doing for others.

I am loathe to confess that I allowed this to happen once..(okay..it might have been a few times. But confession is good for the soul and I confessed and asked God to forgive me for my poor attitude…). I have a friend that on occasion I have done things for. Nothing major…just little things. I heard of a need and had the means to help and did so. Other’s have given this person surprise gifts also. My friend will publicly acknowledge what others do and give…..but there is never any mention of what I have ever done…..It was like they were courting the others and I really questioned their motives for always showing what other’s did for them or gifts that were given. I was sitting there listening to them go on and on…..and I was getting a little angry. I thought…but I gave you this…you never said anything. I sent you this and you never brought it up but you are sure to bring up what everyone else does….. That is heading down a dangerous road of thinking…..but it doesn’t take me long to get out of it…….Here is why…

I imagine that I am sitting here and God reaches down with His finger and flicks me in the head….”Helloooo….why are you getting upset? Was your purpose in helping this person that I brought to you for them to pat you on the back? Are you expecting a megaphone announcement of “Hey!! Look what Ginger did for me?!” If you are…..you are ruining the blessing that I am giving you.”

“Yes God, I know. I am wrong. I am sorry and please forgive me. I allowed my mind to wander there and forgot that I was doing this for You. Your Glory and Honor. Not for man’s recognition. I just feel like I am invisible sometimes.”

“Well Child….if you are doing My work….It’s not you they should see. I want them to see how I am providing for a need they have. How I use many avenues of help by those of my children who have the heart and are willing to step up and lend a hand without the expectation of compensation whether or not it be a public announcement of what You did….when it isn’t you. It is my love for them I want them to see. Your reward will come later my child.”

I sat there talking to my children and warning them also…..when we do things for others it isn’t for us to get the obligatory pat on the back. It is to show God’s love.

We must constantly guard our hearts against attacks. When we find ourselves in those positions we really need to step back and remind ourselves why we do for other’s. It isn’t for our gain.

Remember to let your light shine….not just during this holiday season…..it should shine everyday. I have decided to sing the little child’s song “This Little Light” when I forget who and why I do what I do…..

This Little Light Of Mine Hymn

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Won’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out.
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine til Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel – NO!
I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

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December 19, 2007 - Posted by | Attitude, Awards, Boys, Celebrations, Child Training, Children, Daughter, Education, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Growing up, Holidays, Just Life, Loneliness, Observances, Relationships, Rewards, Songs, Thankfull, Victory

3 Comments »

  1. Thank you for that timely reminder, Ginger.
    Just a short time ago, about 30 min., I was talking to a friend. I shared with her something that happened last night that upset me at the time. I knew it was wrong and even said that to her. But now I realize that God is using you to teach me a lesson – what I did was meet a need of a friend and what happened after wasn’t her fault at all. I need to ask God to help me with this area. Thanks for being God’s messenger to me. 🙂

    Ah Elaine…the same has happened with me over some of the things you have written. God uses all of us. I think we all deal with the same issues but to varying degrees. You have always been someone that I know I could turn to for advice when needed. This was really something I needed reminding of myself. You’re humbly welcome….

    Comment by Elaine | December 19, 2007 | Reply

  2. Ginger, I think we all fall into that trap on occasion. It is good that you wrote about it though so we might be reminded that we are to do things for God and not for recognition. I have had a couple of friends like that and it is hard on me sometimes. Unfortunately, we are only sinners.

    Comment by celticmuse | December 19, 2007 | Reply

  3. Loved your article in teaching children to be good people and too not expect to get anything from it . I can see that your children will grow up to be caring loving adults we need more young parents like you .

    Comment by dollslikeus | December 21, 2007 | Reply


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