The Art of Giving
A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.
Quote from Pray While You’re Prey:
“Be a gift in his life, not a burden.”
What is the purpose of being in a relationship? God concluded very early on that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2), so He made a helpmeet for Adam. Since then, we have been surrounded by relationships of all kinds: spouses, significant others, children, siblings, friends, and co-workers. Our lives are generally filled with all types of relationships. So, what is our purpose in being in a relationship?
When I first looked at Proverbs 18:16, I was thinking about how I could prepare myself to be a great mate for someone. I needed to work on my control issues and my neediness. I wanted to be a gift to someone, and not a burden. This principle can apply to all of the relationships in our lives, including the most important one--the relationship with Christ. When we give the gifts of love and friendship freely, we not only add to the lives of those to whom we are giving, but we add to our own lives as well.
There is no greater feeling that giving to meet the needs in someone else’s life. Not giving because of what you will receive in return or because of a sense of obligation, but freely giving your time, talents and treasures to be a blessing to someone else. When I am having a bad day, even if I do not always feel like it, I try to think of something that I can do for someone else. I am not trying to score brownie points with God. But, if I can be a blessing in someone else’s life, it takes my focus off of problems and points me towards praise. Oftentimes, that is how I end up writing. I might be struggling with a situation, but if I can write something to inspire someone else and draw that person nearer to God, I start to feel ushered into the presence of the great.
One of our functions in any relationship is to be a gift. Even while we are single, we can be a gift to our families and friends. No one wants to continue a relationship with someone who is constantly bringing them down. I want someone to come into my life that will add to it. When people ask me about how I feel about being single and waiting for the right person, I let them know, “I have the cake; I am waiting for the icing!” As a matter of fact, God has used this season in my life to prune and mature me so much that sometimes I feel like I have the cake and the icing and I am just waiting for my ice cream.
Sometimes, we approach relationships with a selfish agenda. It is all about what we can get rather than what we can give. I believe selfishness is at the center of every failed relationship. Right now is the time to ask God to use what He has already blessed you with to help others and to work on those parts of you that may cause someone else to feel burdened.
If we focus more on being a gift, rather than receiving gifts, not only will we find our relationships are more fulfilling, we will find our lives to be more fulfilling.
Thank You, God for every resource that You have given me,
so that I can be a gift to others.
Please forgive me for putting so much emphasis on what others can do for me
and not using Your gifts properly.
Lord, please help me to see the needs of others that I can fulfill
and to live unselfishly in my relationships.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©1984, unless otherwise indicated.