Chapter 4 in God Speaks Your Love Language is about the love language of gifts.
Just pause a moment and think about it.
Do you like receiving a present?
Do you like receiving a surprise present?
Not everyone does.
I had a friend one time who absolutely refused my offer of aid, when he obviously needed help. I had another friend who went into a panic one time when I gave her an unexpected gift. She went into a frenzy trying to think about how she could repay me. Another friend commented on my gift to him by saying that “now he would owe me.” Owing me anything was not the object of my giving my friends a gift.
Why do people have problems receiving gifts?
Our culture is a culture of “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.” If you give something to someone, you must be expecting something back. I knew a person who called that “keeping books.” It was almost like he kept a little black book of debts that he owed others and debts that he had to collect from others. If this is the attitude you have, gift giving is never from the heart, never selfless and never without the ulterior motive of manipulation.
Some people give so much that they have a hard time receiving. For example, women are such caretakers that they often have a hard time receiving a gift. I have been around women who are so busy trying to make others happy that they forget that they have needs too. It is almost as if they are conditioned to give and give and give but not receive. They protest when the gift is offered.
Another reason for hesitance in receiving a gift is the attention it focuses on the receiver. Some folks like to be so far from the spotlight that they panic in gift receiving situations because people are paying attention to them.
Independence is another major stumbling block in gift reception. Some folks think if you receive a gift that you are admitting that you have a need and they don’t want to be perceived that way. In short, they don’t want to be nurtured. The altruistic gift giver is just trying to show appreciation or love and they can’t imagine that their gift would amount to a “put-down” in the mind of another but that’s what the gift means to an independent person. Men I have tried to give a gift to seem to struggle with this. Men can be “independent cusses”, not wanting to depend on anyone or anything. They don’t want any help mowing their yard even though they have not mowed it in 3 weeks; their mower is broken and they can’t afford to get it fixed.
Lastly, some people don’t feel like they deserve a gift. This attitude may be rooted in a self-esteem issue. Maybe they don’t feel they have done anything to deserve the gift and they are feeling guilty. These thoughts are not in the mind of the giver; they are in the mind of the receiver. In fact, this way of thinking can be very confusing for a generous people because they may not even be evaluating the other person’s level of performance and calculating the receiver’s worthiness.
Why discuss all this? Because Chapter 4 is all about gifts…gifts from God. If you are a person who views life as a gift from God like R.G. LeTourneau, you are appreciative of everything you have and you want to take God’s gifts and pass them on to other people.
Not everyone is like Mr. LeTourneau. Giving gifts and receiving gifts is not their “thing.”
That is a shame, because this week we will explore the idea that the best gifts come from God. You may not prefer gifts but get ready to receive…