Have you ever started to buy someone a gift, whether it’s a child or a friend, and stopped and paused and had a thought like:

They don’t deserve this gift

They won’t even appreciate what I’m doing

They never give me anything

They have enough, so why am I spending my money?

I bet we all have had similar thoughts that have causes to pause before we buy.  Pausing before we buy is always good, when we’re trying to be frugal and careful and wise.  But pausing before we buy because we’re trying to judge whether or not the recipient is worthy of the gift is not good!  Worthiness isn’t part of the equation in gift giving!

Most of the time, our kids won’t thank us like we’d like them to, by gushing on and on about how perfect their gifts are.  We have to let this go and give to them because they’re our kids.  Period.

None of us deserves gifts at one time or another.  We’ve all been ungrateful, thrown tantrums, or been downright rude.  So we can offer grace to those that don’t seem to appreciate their blessings, and give anyway.

It’s hard to give and then not expect.  So hard.  We give and we want something given back.  It’s the way we feel in marriage, and with our friends.  But Christmas is a great time to pray about who to give to, to pray about what to give, and then to give without expectation of anything except the satisfaction that you obeyed and gave.

Maybe that friend has everything she needs and more, so why would you buy her another candle?  I have a few friends that feel like because they have a lot, they are always expected to pay, give and dole out compassion…yet people don’t give it to them because of their abundance. That makes for a sad heart.  So give to that friend who has everything, because she will LOVE IT.  Even if it’s just a card or candle or a bar of scented soap!

Giving can be so complicated if we let it. And it can be a very sad experience if we only give to those we think deserve it, those that we think will give back, and those that will thank us over and over again.

It’s hard.  But my desire is to give this holiday season with joy, knowing that my heart is full and I want to give to bless.  Because the truth is that He will bless me because I give, and that’s the best blessing and gift to receive – more than anything else in the world.

The blessing of listening, obeying and then giving results in the satisfaction of relationship, happiness and joy this Christmas.

One Last Look
The Pause
by Marcy Lytle

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