What does giving mean to you, and how does giving make you feel?
We often hear that it is better to give than to receive; this is true for me, is it for you? but why is it?
When I was a little girl, whenever a friend was in need, I always wanted to give, whether I have something to offer or not. I always felt the obligation to find ways to give. I gave whatever I had in excess. One may say I was a very giving person and still am. Somehow, giving gives me a surge of satisfaction. Giving makes me happy.
Giving can be a burden.
Sometimes the feeling of wanting to give all the time can become a burden; this was true for me as well, especially when I do not have the means to provide. I never understood why I had a more deep-seated desire to give. As time went by, I slowly realized why.
Giving makes someone happy and, in return, makes me happy. It wasn’t about how I looked to the person or how expensive my gift was; I just wanted to offer something. That’s when I realized giving was never an obligation. I enjoyed giving, whether it was material things or merely giving my time. I understood why It is better to give than to receive.
Christmas and giving
Christmas is a time for giving. Everyone saves money months before the holiday expecting to spend and give. As time draws near, people start to shop for everyone on their list. We all have our lists, don’t we? Some lists may remain the same, and some may change. Each year people may add new names to their lists, may it be new friends, relatives who somehow did not make it on the list last year, or new clients to show our appreciation. Some lists become shorter, depending on the budget or how people treated us the year before. I know, I know it is sad, but there’s truth to it, isn’t there? But why do we make the extra effort to save and make a list? Is it all about the presents? Is it because we are obligated to do so? It is Christmas, after all. Christmas has always been connected to gifts.
Christmas, however, is more than just giving. It is giving with and out of love; it is giving unconditionally. We give not because it is Christmas, or because of what others may think of us if we don’t, or give because we are expecting something in return. We give because we want to, we give out of love as simple as that!
Giving should not only be done during Christmas, giving should be done every day. If Christmas makes us want to give, then every day should be Christmas day. I am not saying that we must spend money every day. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t automatically correlate giving with money or material things. Giving is so much more than that.
We can give our time to help someone in need. We can give our shoulders for a friend to lean on. We can give our ears to listen. We can give our attention, our affection, our kindness. We can give our time to the homeless shelters; even animals need care and love, so why not spend time at the animal shelter as well? There are many opportunities out there to give; all we need to do is take a moment and look.
God gave, just as it is said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave something, or should I say someone precious to him, his son. He gave something valuable to us; eternal life. He gave out of love, so should we.
In the course of this holiday season, let us not lose sight of what giving is all about. Let us be intentional and attentive to the needs of others. There are many out there who are lonely desperate to belong — there are many out there who are alone during the holiday seasons, perhaps a widow or someone away from home. Some people may be suffering from physical and mental illnesses and may need someone to be there during the holidays to brighten up their day.
Please focus on the quality of what we are giving. Let us give from the heart. When giving comes from the heart, it is felt in the heart of those who receive it. Give the gift that can never be forgotten, a gift that can never be replaced, Let us give the gift of love this Christmas, and every day after.