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.
There are so many gifts that are given to us and we treasure them, but when WE give them back to others, we often miss the value of what we are giving away. We feel small and worthless because we can’t do more. These gifts are priceless and should be given freely and often.
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. Men will think nothing of protecting their family and closest friends, even if they are facing certain death. 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 strength to take the next step, to put one foot in front of the other. You know what it feels like when your world has been shaken to the core and then how wonderful it is when a friend steps up to encourage you. During those times when your world is falling apart, a true friend to strengthen you is priceless. Value this gift more as you are that friend that steps in when it seems the world has stepped out.
The Gift of Time – 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 or anyone 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. That phone call out of the blue is often a ray of hope. 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 we all desire. We feel like we have to prove things to others, be something that we are not or have the nicest things before “others” will love and accept us. Knowing that we are loved when we are whiny, bratty, disobedient, fearful, doubtful and even when we build walls, shutting out our friends is a precious gift. 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, then a precious friend steps up, puts a loving arm around us and reassures us, it will be ok. 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 know someone cares and is willing to help us get through. 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 while you listen to them, allowing them to empty their heart of pain.
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. I do this, 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. Think for a moment....who do you need to forgive? Give this gift freely, without the give and take of reminding and remembering the pain.
The Gift of Courage – Standing alone is so frightening. We all feel uncomfortable and so very alone when all eyes are on us. 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. Step up, speak up, stand out! Go…boldly so!
The Gift of Compassion – 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 family, friends and co-workers as you may not realize what sadness or discouragement is running through their heart. Be compassionate…period. Many people are hostel and indifferent to those who are facing hard times. Your gift of compassion 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. Look through the eyes of compassion today, as you never know when you’ll need others to look on you with compassion.
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. May I remind you to keep doing what you can with what you have and inspire others to do the same! The gift of hope is amazing.
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! You can be going through a sad time, times of trials and discouragement and when someone like this comes your way, you can’t help but to smile by simply being around them. I love giving the gift of joy because this gift gets passed around easily! Giving out smiles, looking people in the eye and being super friendly is something that we all are capable of doing. Create JOY!
These are priceless gifts that we treasure when we get them from others! 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!
For ideas on making a difference without spending a penny – click here:
Need more still? Another 50 ways right here!
This post was adapted from a guest post that I did for the Women's Bible Cafe.
To see the Biblical application, click here.