Giving to honor God is not necessarily the same as giving to make your child happy. In fact, the two goals may be in opposition to each other! The ultimate example of giving to glorify God is Jesus Christ. Christ’s gift was selfless, pure and holy. Let’s take a look at each of these three qualities. While we can never match these qualities in our own gift giving, nonetheless, they are the standard.
From a human perspective there was nothing in what Christ did that was a benefit to him. His joy was in doing what the Father wanted. He did not give selfishly, to get something back. One trap in gift giving is the expectation of appreciation. You think and plan for weeks to get just the right gift for your 10-year-old. It is an expensive gift. Your son tears off the wrapping, opens the box, looks for a moment, and then looks up and says a half-hearted thanks—and immediately dives for the next present. You’re crushed. How could he not appreciate the love and sacrifice that went into that gift? Some of the joy of the day has gone. When this happens the gift was not really for your child. It was, at least in part, for you. You were hoping, expecting, to receive as well as to give. This is not selfless, but selfish. Gifts should not be given with an expectation of earning gratitude. Giving that is selfless finds delight in giving, not in receiving.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]