We all love giving and making a difference. Spreading Joy is what I love to call it. The problem is that many of us look at our giving in the wrong fashion. We look at what we can’t do, don’t have or dwell on the huge things that we may never be able to do.
The Bible is filled with example after example of the Lord giving to us and doing so unapologetically. Our desires to give big and have a huge impact often cloud our hearts of the impact we are making. It blinds us to the reality that we can make a difference with little to no resources. We all can give the gifts to others that the Lord so graciously gives to us.
Let’s look at some examples together:
The Gift of Strength – Women are strong. We’ll step in between danger and our children in an instant and think nothing of it. We’ll face monsters that lurk in the dark, giants that terrorize our kids and a million other things that make our children and families feel weak and defeated. When you strengthen another by lending a hand, agreeing in prayer or simply being their rock in times of deep sorrow and pain, you are giving those people the gift of Psalm 46. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” This Psalm goes on to describe the mountains crumbling into the sea and how we can count on the Lord to strengthen us. You know what it feels like when your world has been shaken to the core and then how wonderful it is when God steps in. During those times when your world is falling apart, a true friend to strengthen you is priceless.
The Gift of Time – God desires to dwell with us, just as he desires us to dwell with him. In this hurry up society where the elderly are pushed aside, kids are sat in front of the TV and there is never enough time for anything anymore, this gift is more valuable than we seem to realize. I love family gatherings, I love girls’ night out and I love one on one time with my kids. Give the gift of time, knowing that this gift will always be treasured.
The Gift of Love – Unconditional love is simply amazing. Being loved just for you is a priceless gift that God gives us. Psalm 139 tells us that the Lord knows every single thing about us and yet He chooses to love us anyway. He loves us when we are whiny, bratty, disobedient, fearful, doubtful and even when we run from Him. We KNOW this love from Him and are so grateful for it. Why, then, do we not value it more when we give this gift away? You don’t just love your friends that live in the fanciest of homes, drive the best cars and provide the best dinner parties. You don’t just love those family members that never cause you grief or always are helpful. You love your family and friends unconditionally and in doing so; you make a huge impact on each of those hearts.
The Gift of Peace – When the tears are flowing, uncertainty and anxiety are bursting from your heart, Jesus steps up and whispers “Peace, be still” and because HE is the Master of the wind, the raging storm must quiet. The peace we have that passes all understanding is because we know that with each trial, God is there with us. We don’t have to go through things alone. When we have a friend that will hold our hand as well as touch our heart with kindness as we are going through the valley brings us amazing peace because we are not alone. This gift allows us to take one more step, knowing that it’s truly going to be ok. I pray you use this gift often as you wrap your arms around someone hurting and assure them that “it” will be ok.
The Gift of Prayer – When we pray for others, we are sometimes guilty of thinking “I wish I could do more.” Well, I do that occasionally. Praying for someone is absolutely the greatest gift ever! I’m boldly going before the throne of grace on their behalf and asking God the Father to find favor with them. I’m going before the One that knows their pain, feels their grief and is right in the midst of their trials. I’m seeking help from the One that can help when no other can. The gift of prayer is perfect as one size fits all and anyone can do it! I don’t know about you, but when I wake up to an email or message that says “I’m praying for you” my heart immediately smiles because I was being wrapped in prayer while I slept. I have a policy that I never break. My mind is usually running everywhere, so when someone pops into my mind and on my heart, I’ll say a prayer for them. Knowing that God placed them there for a reason since it was out of the blue. I do try and contact them to let them know, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. Give the gift of prayer, without feeling like you should do more.
The Gift of Forgiveness – Pain is pain, regardless of who caused it, where it comes from and how deep it cuts to our core, it hurts! There are some that choose to hold a grudge and will simply not let go and they refuse to give the gift of forgiveness. As long as we are in this earthly body, WE will hurt others. We will disappoint, discourage and cause pain and have to ask forgiveness of those we cause this hurt to. Remember that when someone has to ask you to forgive them. Give this gift freely, without the give and take of reminding and remembering the pain.
The Gift of Courage – Just as Abraham “went” without even knowing where he was going, God supplies us with the courage we need to serve Him. The Bible is filled with time after time when men faced the unknown, like Abraham or giants, like David. Knowing what God wants you to do is one thing, but having the courage to step out and DO it that is another thing entirely. When you step up, stand up and lead the way, you may never realize it but you are giving someone else courage to do the same. Many do not want to stand alone and are fearful so your simple act of leading the way empowers others with the confidence to do the same. Go…boldly so!
The Gift of Compassion – Isaiah 30:18 talks about how the Lord longs to be gracious to us and He will show us compassion! We treasure that with the Lord! Jude says and some having compassion, making a difference. When you give the gift of compassion you instantly make a difference. Be compassionate, even if you don’t understand what is going on or how someone could have gotten into “that” situation. Be compassionate with your Pastor, teacher and the other leaders in your church as they have a huge responsibility of making sure that the flock is taken care of. Be compassionate…period. Many people are hostel and indifferent to those who are facing hard times. Your gift is received with a grateful heart and will be passed on. Someone will remember this gift and pass it to another that is facing difficulty.
The Gift of Hope – All the resources are gone…. there seems to be no job, no money, no family members that will come to the rescue…no hope. You see the need, you do what you can to help as well as do what you can to show them other resources and avenues that can be taken. You give hope that tomorrow will be better, you inspire them to keep going, keep looking and remind them that someone cares. There’s nothing like the gift of hope. Philippians 4:19 BUT my God shall supply all your need according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The Gift of JOY – Joy is contagious! Don’t you just love being around people that are happy, joyful and that just seem to enjoy each moment of life? I love watching people like this! The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Have you considered what brings God joy? We bring Him joy just by being ourselves. He loves us, adores us and has chosen us. Our praise, prayers and service to HIM brings him joy. Our act of praise and thanksgiving not only help lift our spirits, heal our hearts and bring us closer to the Lord, but it also brings the Lord joy. Our repentance and willingness to be the light he has called us to be brings Him joy. Our willingness to serve and our complete submission to His will brings Him great joy. Our faithfulness and faith IN Him brings him joy. Faith, even when we can’t see the path, even when we are afraid and even when we wonder why would he even choose to use us in the first place….brings him great joy. Yes, the Joy of the Lord is a priceless gift to give others. Let them see His love, peace, mercy and grace flowing through you.
These are priceless gifts that God gives to us! Why do we not see the value in them as we give them away to others?
I hope this encourages you to re-think your gift giving, refocus your values on these kinds of gifts and that it reminds you that you are awesome at spreading joy! I hope you’ll remember these gifts as you thinking about giving to others.
One of my goals is to make sure that I’m spreading joy daily and I hope that you’ll make that as your goal as well!
About the Author
Marie Wikle, Spreading Joy Corporation Spreading Joy uses financial gifts to allow people from all walks of life to have some joy come their way. Marie creates a chain reaction of joy spreading from person to person as donations of products and/or services positively affect the recipient. As these gifts are distributed to brighten someone’s day it motivates them to look for ways to start spreading joy and possibly help them to rise above their circumstances. She is the co-creator of Twitter Nightly Worship, or Tworship, which draws between 100-300 worshipful spirits from social media.