Another one of the Love Languages, described by Gary Chapman, is Giving and Receiving Gifts. Often times, people will feel most loved when thought is put into the perfect gift, a Christmas present, birthday present or just a random “just because” gift is invaluable to the person who speaks this as their primary love language. This person is the type of person who buys the perfect gift for somebody and is giddy with anticipation to give the gift to their loved one. They feel hurt or rejected when they are not showered with gifts, or when their gift is disregarded, or not appreciated.
God gave His people an amazing gift also, His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the example of the perfect Christian, and to die a death that all of humanity deserves in order to cover our sins with His blood. Once that gift of Salvation is received, God continues to shower us with gifts. Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians that the Gifts of the Spirit comes through the Holy Spirit (12:4). Then he goes onto highlight the gifts; wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues (12:7-11). There are a lot more gifts lifted in other areas of Scripture that we are given by God, through His Spirit: exhortation, administration, apostle, faith, healings, evangelism, teaching, leadership, mercy, the list goes on.
Isn’t it amazing that we have such a good God and that He showers us with His gifts? What intrigued me, though, is that this specific gift is about giving AND receiving. So, while God gives us His gifts through His Spirit, we must give back to Him. I don’t think anything tells God that we love Him quite like using one of His gifts to love another person.
My family has a Scripture that means a lot to us, it is one that is spoken a lot when remembering loved ones who have passed away, Ecclesiastes 3:1-5. My mom, especially loved this verse. I remember when I was in High School, driving around every Christian book store imaginable trying to find a poster, a painting, or something with this verse on it. I was so proud to present my mom with this amazing poster. I don’t remember what special occasion it was for, but I remember my excitement when I saw how much she loved it, when it was hung in our office, and to this day, I see it at my parents house. Have you ever given the perfect gift? A sweater/outfit that you knew the recipient would adore, or maybe a special piece of jewelry? Do you remember how proud you felt when you saw that person utilizing your gift? How loved you felt when you saw the gift that you so perfectly picked out displayed with confidence on the recipient?
Imagine how much more God must love this, when we proudly display the gifts He gave us-and to use it to love other people. He picked out the gifts specifically for us, He gave us each our own specific set of skill sets that is available to us, as Christians, through the Holy Spirit. He went “shopping” for exactly what would fit right, and wear well given our personality, and influence, he wrapped it up in a beautiful package, His Son, and sent his messenger, the Holy Spirit to leave it for our use. What an amazing show of love and affection, but we get to give Him the gift of love, too, every time we use that gift.