I am notoriously bad at waiting.
But hold on, isn’t this a post about giving? Not waiting?
Well, yes. But see, around this time of year, I’m reminded of just how little patience I have.
Especially when it comes to giving.
I’m the type of person who will procrastinate, overthink, and stress about what to give loved ones until I’m running out of time to actually get anything. And it’s not that I don’t like giving gifts – I do! But it can be so hard to decide on something for a long time.
The real problem, however, is after I’ve finally decided on what to get for them. As soon as I actually have their gift ready, I want to give it to them now. Not at Christmas. Not at their birthday. Right this minute. I just can’t wait to show them and let them use it and see their expression.
When it comes to giving gifts, I often have the patience of a toddler.
There’s just something rather…magical about giving, isn’t there? To see that special person’s face light up, to know that it means something to them, to be sure that you’ve made a positive difference in their life.
This applies to any type of gift. Whether it’s a toy to a child, a sandwich to a hungry teenager, a hug to someone starved for affection, or anything else. If you give something with the intent of helping someone out or brightening their day, if you’re thoughtful with your gift, it has the potential to actually change someone’s life.
Maybe that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. A gift doesn’t have to be huge, expensive, or impressive to change someone’s life. It’s often the little things done in love that can have the largest impact. I still remember smiles, kind words, hugs, and small gifts given years ago, because I could tell the person giving them was genuine and actually cared.
Physical or verbal, large or small, time-consuming or simple, what matters about a gift is that it’s given out of love. More important than the thing itself is the thought and care put into it. Though some people may look at the actual gift more than others (such as those with the love language of gifts), ultimately, it really is the thought that counts.
As a believer, I’m so glad to have the best example of giving that there is. Not only did Christ give us the absolute best that He possibly could – through His death for us, providing forgiveness, a pathway to salvation, and an eternal lifetime with Him – but He’s never stopped giving. Every breath we take is an example of His loving heart.
He gives us many big blessings, and He showers us in so many little ones too. And most of all, they’re all given because of His great love and care for us. I think that’s the perfect example of how we should strive to give to one another.
If you’re like me, and you struggle to give gifts because you want them to be perfect, be encouraged. If you’re truly putting thought into it and giving from a place of love, then you’re doing it right. No matter what the gift is, just make sure the other person knows how much you care.
And if you also struggle with waiting to give someone their gift, something I keep being convicted of is this…why wait? Sure, when it comes to Christmas, a birthday, or a special occasion like that, it makes sense to wait until the appropriate time. But those also don’t need to be the only times we give. I don’t think they should be.
I’ve found that when we live our lives with the spirit of giving constantly in our hearts and minds, it improves so many lives around us. When we seek out opportunities to bless others with a smile, an encouragement, a small token, or an offer to help, we’re actively showing Christ’s love. And the world could use a lot more of that.
So even as we move away from the traditional holiday season and its focus on gifts, I still want to stay focused on giving. Not only can it bless other people, but I have never once regretted it. The benefits to my own attitude and growth are not something I’d ever want to give up. And with all that in mind, today I thought I’d share ten of my favorite quotes about giving, with the prayer that they encourage you as much as they do for me.
1. “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”
2. “As base a thing as money often is, yet it can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor. It can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.”
3. “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!”
4. “Generosity is impossible apart from our love of God and of His people. But with such love, generosity not only is possible but inevitable.”
5. “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc. is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures exclude them.”
(C. S. Lewis)
6. “You do not have to be wealthy to be generous; you just have to be generous.”
7. “Remember this—you can’t serve God and Money, but you can serve God with money.”
8. “A lack of generosity refuses to acknowledge that your assets are not really yours, but God’s.”
9. “In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.”
10. “The world asks, ‘What does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘How does he use it?'”
Generosity is such a beautiful thing, and something that I wish wasn’t complicated so much by today’s world. Giving isn’t about prices, size, or even physical things. It’s about the heart. So my prayer for us as we continue into this year is that we’d all be reminded and encouraged to give freely, generously, and – most of all – out of love. Those make for the very best gifts.
Did any of these quotes speak to you today? Go ahead and let me know your favorites in the comments, as well as if there is a certain topic you’d like to see more quotes about. While you’re there, I’d love to hear something YOU’RE learning about giving!
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:25 NIV)
1. I shared more of my quote collection in many previous posts, which you can find here.
2. To receive your own printable pages of the above quotes (and the ones used in my other ‘Quotes’ posts), sign up for my email list! Simply fill in the form here, and I’ll send you PDF copies of the quote collections – as well as an inspirational short story. I look forward to hearing from you!