There is the gift that is received when giving that is wonderfully unexpected. Not only are there people with the gift of giving, but there is a gift that is received when giving. This post is not about the former but the latter.
The golden rule works because there is a built-in reciprocation that occurs when you do unto others as you would have them do to you. Everyone loves gifts, but not everyone gives gifts. But once you see how fun giving is, it becomes very addicting.
WARNING: There are some who give with wrong motives. The gifts you get when giving has become the reason that some people give. Don’t fall into this trap; it will backfire.
With that said, the gifts are too good to ignore and you should enjoy the fruit of giving.
The Gift of Giving Today
There is an amazing feeling you get when you give. It is like an emotional hug or spiritual smile; some describe it as warm fuzzies. I had to look up the definition of “warm fuzzies”. Merriam-Webster states:
warm fuzzies – plural noun
: feelings of happiness, contentment, or sentimentality
The bottom line is, it is a “high” better than any drug can give you.
Givers get more out of the transaction than the receiver. Jesus taught that it is better to give than receive (Acts 20:35) for a reason. There is joy in giving that is felt immediately.
Try Giving Giving a Try
Have you ever left a twenty-dollar bill to pay for the next person in line at the coffee shop? And then you tell the barista, “don’t tell the person why their coffee is free, and the rest of the money is theirs to keep. You get a big smile from the barista, which makes you feel good, and now you get to sit back and watch how it unfolds while you wait for your beverage!
Even better, try paying for someone’s groceries. You can tell how financially strapped the person is by the size of the smile, or even hug, you get in return. That’s the best gift of giving.
Get creative and test this phenomenon out! Fill up someone’s gas tank and wash their windows. Carry someone’s heavy package up to their apartment, leaving it outside their door so they don’t have to go down to pick it up in the lobby.
You will never regret giving your money, your time, or your talent.
The Gift of Giving Tomorrow
People remember a giver. Your gifts will be top of mind when you are in need. Furthermore, there is an expression that says: “what goes around comes around”. That expression works for good and for bad.
I remember having someone complain to me about how no one came to his rescue when he was stranded on the side of the road. He called people for help. There were no cars stopping to help.
After inquired why he thought this was the case. He exclaimed, “Because people are selfish”. So, I politely asked him, “How often have you helped others who are in need?” Maybe there was someone who needed a ride. Or maybe there was someone homeless begging for something to eat. He stood silent.
What Goes Around … Comes Around
I don’t believe in Karma, but I do see the evidence of the gift of giving that comes tomorrow. Tomorrow being well after the moment you gave.
A lady I know wanted to give something to a fellow church member who was in her last month of pregnancy. The soon to be mother seemed so tired and had issues getting around and doing the most basic things. So, the lady went over and spent her afternoon serving her sister, giving her an at-home pedicure. The pregnant woman was so grateful. (That’s the gift today.)
Years later, the new mom still talks about this gift she received and tells the story to her friends and family. That sweet generous lady now has the respect and admiration of many people. It turns out that it was a gift that keeps on giving … back! (That’s the gift tomorrow.)
Sometimes the gift that the giver gets is unexpected and far greater than the original gift. As you can see this works, not only for gifts that cost money but for gifts of time and even talent. Read this previous post where I wrote all about these non-monetary gifts: Give without Spending a Penny
The Gift of Giving Beyond Tomorrow
There is one more layer of gifts that come back to the giver. And it is the grandest.
In this mysterious passage of scripture, Jesus is explaining that there will be a huge gift waiting for those in heaven who have done certain things on earth.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” – Matthew 6:19-21 NLT
There are 3 things that you can do on earth to store up treasure in heaven. And the first one on the list is, you guessed it, giving.
But Jesus explains that there is a certain way to give. This goes back to what I said about giving in the right way. You should give without expecting any in return.
If you don’t get any “Thank You”, you should keep giving anyway. No smile? No hug? No praise? … Keep on giving. No gift today or tomorrow? Don’t worry, you have treasures waiting for you beyond tomorrow.
When you receive the joy of those gifts today and tomorrow in return for your generosity, those are just a bonus. The real gift will be waiting for you.