The story was told of a great football coach of a university in California who had a son who also played on the university’s team. The son was an amazing athlete and quite successful at the sport. A news reporter commented on how proud he must be of his son’s accomplishments. The coach gave one of the best answers a son would ever want to hear. To paraphrase he said his son played well and had a good season. He was proud of him. He continued to say, ” But I would be just as proud if he had never played the game at all.’ The unconditional love of a good father. No strings attached.
Sadly for many of us, that’s not our story. The approval and love we received was based on how well we performed. As such we grew up with a flawed version or perception of love and kindness. Many of us find it hard to receive and we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We are suspicious of people’s kindness and generosity ; always wondering what’s in it for them. Our lives become tit for tat ; you do for me, I do for you. This can be very evident during these holiday season. Some of us would die of embarrassment if someone gave us a gift and we didn’t give them one in return. Or we find ourselves getting gifts from people who do so to gain some favor from us.
The spirit of giving as shown by Christ was never to get something in return; He gives freely. On the flip side, pride or fear can prevent us also from receiving – even from God. Christ gave himself for a people who for centuries have turned their backs on Him. He still gives everyday – simply because He loves us. We can only experience the benefits of His giving when we receive what He is giving.
So whatever this season looks like for you – Just remember God gave first. There were no strings attached. He gave because He loved. What we do with that is all up to us! As we give and receive this holiday season, let’s be mindful of the spirit with which we do both. Let’s choose to do both from a place of genuine love and kindness. No strings attached.
***Thanks for reading – Love and give from that pure place.