This post isn’t as odd as it sounds. God never held back when He gave to us. He is wildly generous. But we don’t have the mind of God and there are all sorts of emotions that get wrapped up in why we give and how we give that go way beyond doing something loving and kind.
It’s the very reason Christmas notoriously puts families in debt. Giving makes us look good. And we want to look good. I’m not trying to turn giving into some dark thing at all. But I think we can enjoy more margin during the holidays when we come from such a pure place of giving. We can give without getting frustrated by the “commercialism” of the holiday because it’s no longer driving our hearts. We can give without blowing our budget and experiencing the trickle down effect of what that can cause like fights with the spouse, stress over paying for necessities and sleepless nights of wondering how we’ll pay off that credit card.
Have you ever gone over an agreed upon limit and then gotten annoyed with the gift you received that wasn’t as extravagant? Or been disappointed when you didn’t get the reaction you wanted from giving a gift? I know I have.
The weird reality is that the person we are giving to didn’t put that on us (normally!). We put it on ourselves. But the good news is, if we put it there and no one else did, we can remove it. 🙂 Prayerfully, of course, and with God’s help.
These ideas are all fresh to me, so I don’t really have 5 quick tips to pull ourselves out of the giving and let it just be about the person we are giving to. What I do have is a few questions to think about as you purchase and give gifts this season. I think these will help change our mindset and at the very least, keep us from experiencing that overburden of debt and even the tough emotions giving can bring when our focus is us.
- Do I hope this gift tells this person something about me?
- Can I really afford this?
- If I were giving this anonymously, would it change what I gave? (ouch, huh?)
- Am I giving what I think they’d really like or what I think they should like?
- Similarly, am I respecting the person’s wishes?
- Am I trying to be a hero/Santa Claus? Does everyone need a big present, little present and two medium presents?
Any tips on how to really enjoy giving this year? Or other questions you think would be helpful to ask? Share in the comments below!
COMING UP NEXT: Margin in Eating