It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about giving and getting. Everyone knows that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), but people are still generally thinking about being on the receiving end too. Sermons will be preached about giving and giving and giving. There’s something interesting I’ve not heard much about lately: the pitfalls of giving.
When we do give, part of the fun is seeing the person’s expression or hearing their profuse thanks over the phone. It’s nice to make people happy, and we are happy in return. Wonderful!
What if we help someone privately? After all, you’re not supposed to let your left hand know what your right is doing (Matt. 6:3). We can feel happy that someone has been helped and not need to tell anyone about our good deed. How ironic that this is such a temptation to pride! But how do you avoid it?
Well, I suppose that recognizing it or being alert for the symptoms is a first start. This week I realized something else that will stop that cold in its tracks: remembering that everything, everything, that we have is from God. We have nothing that we have gotten on our own. No talents, no property, no money… If everything we have is a gift from God, then how can we feel prideful about passing it along? Kind of silly, isn’t it? If you’re going to be a regifter, then be an upfront regifter: “This isn’t mine originally, this is from God and I just had it for a while. You can thank him instead of me.”
|One of God’s gifts to me in 2003.|