The Gift of Giving
Recently, I was reading a book by Jeff Anderson about giving. He told a story that really opened my eyes and my heart to the truth about giving. One day, Jeff was sitting in the living room working on a presentation he was putting together for a meeting. As he sat there focused on the work at hand, his 18-month old daughter, Autumn Joy, walked into the room seeking his attention. As he looked over at her, she proceeded to hand him a plastic donut from her kitchen set. She sat there waiting for his response, so he pretended to eat the donut and then thanked her, really playing it up. The pure joy and thrill that came across her face was a sight to behold. It also led to her coming back a few more times with additional plastic items from her kitchen, hoping for similar responses.
Reading this story brought me back to so many memories of my own daughter when she would bring home a new art work, or how excited my children were as I prepared to open up the Christmas gift that they themselves had either made or purchased. To be honest with you, it didn’t matter what the art looked like, or what the gift was, I knew that it was the fact that they were bringing it to me and had put much thought and hope into the selection of the gift.
In his book, “Plastic Donuts: Giving That Delights the Heart of the Father”, Jeff builds, from that experience with his daughter, the “A-HA Moment” for him, and also changed my perspective when it comes to giving. Beyond the duty and the desire for response of my gifts, I had never taken the time to consider how God views my gifts.
Jeff’s daughter had an innocence to her giving. The donut wasn’t worth anything, and there was no ulterior motive behind it. She just wanted to give something to her father and hoped it was pleasing to him. Meanwhile, Jeff was learning about God and how to better connect with Him.
“This is how our giving must feel from God’s perspective. Our gifts to Him are like Plastic Donuts. God does not need our gifts or our money. But like a child’s gift that moves her father, our gifts can really get God’s attention.”
As you prepare for Christmas and possibly supporting organizations that are carrying out God’s work, can I ask you to take the time to consider how God views your gift? Our gifts are meant to come from an attitude of gratitude, because ultimately, as the God and creator of all things, the actual gift is not worth anything to Him. What He truly desires is that we will feel joy by recognizing His reaction to our gifts. This is the true gift of giving.