Do you share your gifts with others?
As a child, the Holiday Season was a time of excitement for me. The thoughts of gifts I might receive played on a near constant loop in my young mind as we approached the time of their unwrapping.
But, I learned a valuable lesson about sharing gifts one year when I was about 12, taught in loving patience by my Father. It started with a visit from my Great Aunt Hattie a week or so after Thanksgiving. I can see her now, 80-something years old, thin and wiry, driving a 1960’s four-door Chevrolet Biscayne with a three on the tree. (Manual three speed transmission with shifter on the steering column.)
As a rule, folks moved away from the driveway when they saw her coming, because they weren’t quite sure where she would end up. (No power steering.) She didn’t see well, could only hear slightly better, and all those streets in little Mart, Texas got confusing as she got older. I was sitting on the front porch playing with my dog and watching people going up and down the street, when I heard her hollering out her car window as she drove into the driveway. “Jimmy… Jimmy… JIMMY! Come here Jimmy! I have something for you!”
In a flash, I was at her car door, ready for whatever she was bringing. It was most often food. I was hoping for candy, specifically Fudge. Since it was just a week or so shy of Christmas, I knew Uncle Dutch (Aunt Hattie’s brother) would be baking all kinds of treats for gifting.
“Dutch told me how much you liked his pecan fudge last year, Jimmy, so he made y’all an extra little something,” Aunt Hattie said with a wink and a grin.
Handing me the tin, I hugged her neck and invited her in to visit. “Can’t this afternoon, Jimmy, got deliveries to make before it gets late.” And just like that she climbed back in the car, tried starting the running engine, ground it into reverse, backed out in front of Mr. Marek as he pulled in his driveway, and took off to deliver more goodies.
I didn’t waste any time, taking the gift straight upstairs to my room.
A day or two later, my Dad, who regularly went by to check on Aunt Hattie and Uncle Dutch asked me at dinner if I had misplaced or lost a certain tin that was dropped off, because it wasn’t under the tree. For a few seconds I acted as though I didn’t know what he was talking about, but one of my sisters was quick to point out they had seen me take a fancy tin to my room. Then, I wondered out loud if that might be what Dad was referencing. The look on my face gave the answer.
“Before you eat another bite, Son, go to your room and get the gift.” I did as he said and returned to sit down while holding it out to him. What does the card say, Son? I read: “To: WB Honeycutt Jr. family with love and blessings for the Season, Merry Christmas.”
As I took a bite of food, my Father very calmly asked me a series of questions for me to think about. Do you understand, Son, that you may have received the gift, but that it was intended for all the family to enjoy?
“Do you believe that as a family we should share the gifts given us?”
“Do you agree that it is selfish to try and hoard them?”
“The lesson here, Son, is a grateful heart, you will learn that real gratitude for something creates a desire to share its value with those you love, just as Jesus shares his blessings with us.”
Thinking about this experience, I have come to the following conclusion”
Within the family of Jesus Christ (His Church), The Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit lavishly imparts gifts and blessings upon His children. These gifts, though manifested individually upon people, are meant for the building up of His Church. When someone hoards the blessings God gives them, they are acting contrary to their purpose. Rather than hoarding gifts, we are to release them according to the measure we have received.
In Scripture, the writer of Ephesians wrote about some of the gifts given to establish the Church. Then the reason for them is stated in Chapter 4 verse 12. To equip his people for works of service, so the Body of Christ might be built up.
As you look at the blessings and gifts God has given you, ask yourself the questions my Father asked me so long ago. And if you agree, open your hand, share with your family.