The Gift & the Giver

I don’t know how to accept compliments or how to respond to sweet little gifts or how to do much of anything that requires any sort of display of affection. But I love giving gifts and encouraging others.

That look on people’s faces when they realize they are loved and treasured and remembered… that’s priceless. It makes every price, every effort worth it. 

The act of “giving” makes me think of my Jesus and how He gave so much for me. When I think about the Cross, I cannot understand it. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that a perfect God sent His perfect and only Son to die for this infinitely, imperfect world. The greatest Gift of all time hung from a cross and was buried in the heart of a tomb, all so that the Giver would be glorified at the time of His resurrection and our redemption.

I am keenly aware of the fact that I don’t deserve this Gift. In fact, I never will. I could never do enough or be enough to deserve this Gift.

My initial response to receiving a gift/compliment I don’t deserve usually looks like a game of Hot Potato. I just toss that fireball right back because I’m not prepared to handle it. I don’t know what to do with it. And so I keep pushing the gift back into the hands of the giver. I keep stuffing those sweet words of encouragement back down their throats because I just can’t deal. I don’t know how to.

Sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know. I’m working on it.

Sometimes, this is what we do with the Gift the Father has given us. Christ suffered selflessly, needlessly in order to Gift us with something we would otherwise never attain. The Creator of the world handed us the greatest Gift of all time. Our response? We slap a “return to sender” sticker on it and shove it right back into that mailman’s hands ensuring him, “This was sent to me by mistake.”

Can you imagine the heart of the Giver in this situation? What deep sorrow He must feel in these moments! The joy I experience in giving gifts and encouraging others is so sweet and so infinitely small compared to that of the Giver in giving us His greatest Gift. And yet, my heart would be so incredibly saddened if that joy was ever extinguished for whatever reason. But isn’t that exactly what we do to this amazing Giver? The greatest Gift we could never attain on our own is freely given to us by the greatest Being to ever exist, and our response is “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Friends, redemption isn’t about us. This Gift isn’t about us. It’s about Him. It’s not about what we deserve or don’t deserve – it’s about the Giver and how He loves us, treasures us, remembers us. What an amazing and humbling thing to be remembered by the Creator of the Universe!

We don’t have to be good at accepting compliments or receiving gifts to understand this. We just have to be willing to embrace whatever He brings into our lives – whether we deserve it or not.

The Giver is a good Father who gives good gifts – the best gifts. Though we may never deserve them, it is the Father’s joyful desire to bless His children with good things – salvation being the greatest Gift of all.

It’s difficult for some of us to accept this amazing Gift, but we must stop fighting, stop refusing, stop insisting we’re unworthy. Because it’s true, we are unworthy and that will never change. The Giver knows that better than we do and yet He chooses to give us His Best.

Others of us are in a different boat. We know a good deal when we see one and we wasted no time in accepting this amazing Gift. But when He continues to bless us and give us good things in addition to this single most amazing Gift of all, we don’t know what to do. We can’t explain it. We’re left baffled.

Wait, God. So You gave me the Gift of salvation, which I already didn’t deserve… and now you’re blessing me with more?

It doesn’t make sense. It defies all logic and reasoning. And so we do what our friends from the previous scenario did – we refuse these other good gifts He’s given us. We hand them right back to Him, refusing to open the package because it’s just too much.

I couldn’t pay you back as it was, God. And now this? I just can’t accept this!

Or can we?

Why does God give us anything? Why does He give us even the basic necessities of life? We don’t refuse those. So why do we refuse to open these other little presents He gives us throughout our lives?

God gives us good gifts because He loves us. What a shame that we refuse to accept them! Are we refusing to open up the spiritual gifts He has blessed us with? Are we refusing to walk into opportunities He’s given us? Are we refusing to engage in the relationships He’s blessed us with? Yes, it’s too much. Yes, He’s too good. But that’s who He is y’all: A good, good Father who gives the very best gifts for the very last ones who deserve them.

He gives to us because He loves us. We need to accept that first. But the other reason He gives to us is because it glorifies Him. We need to understand this and walk confidently into it. When God gives us a job or promotion that is better than anything we could ever want, it’s because He has a purpose in it. When God gives us relationships that bless our hearts with comfort and joy, it’s because He has a purpose in it. When God gives us opportunities to serve Him that are bigger than we could ever imagine, it’s because He has a purpose in it. It’s bigger than us because it’s about Him.

So let’s joyfully embrace the Gift of our Savior. Let’s joyfully embrace the gifts of the Giver. Not for us, but for Him.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? | Romans 8:32

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