Home > Christianity, Faith > When A Gift Is Not A Gift

When A Gift Is Not A Gift

I know someone who received a phone call recently.  The conversation went something like this:

I have a gift for you.  All you have to do is come to my house to get it.

What kind of reaction do you think the person receiving the gift had?  Glad you asked.  They were offended.  They did not like the requirements placed upon them for receiving the gift.

In fact, they did not consider it a gift at all.  This person felt that they had to earn it.

The gift was not a gift.

That is similar to what was going on with the Galatians in the Bible.  The were given the gift of salvation.  It was free.  Like Abraham, they were recipients of a promise.  Their promise was that Christ’s work on the cross earned their salvation so that they could receive the promise, the gift.

Unfortunately, the Juadaizers came in and convinced them that the gift was not enough.  They told the Galatians that they had to work to keep it.  They had to keep the Law.  The gift ceased to be a gift.

Fortunately, God put no requirements like that on us.  What is the gift of salvation?  It is the gift of God.  It is not the result of works.  That way no one can brag about it.

Imagine if this person drove to get the gift.  How would they describe it to their friend?  “I had to drive over and get this gift.”  They wouldn’t be excited about it.  It wouldn’t really mean anything to them.

However, think about what would have happened if the phone call had gone differently.  What if the giver had said they wanted to come over.  When they arrived, they gave them a beautifully wrapped present.  Once it was unwrapped, the recipient saw that the giver had put thought into the gift to make it just right.  How would they have felt about that one?

Sometimes, a gift is a gift.  Sometimes it isn’t.

Has anyone ever put condition on a gift to the point of ruining it for you?

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  1. August 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

    it bugs me when someone does something, especially for the church, then gets offended when he/she is not commended in public for it. That defeats the purpose for the gift.

  2. August 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Yup! I am wrestling with this now with someone our church is going to help out financially. I want to give them a gift but I also want to teach them how to manage their money better. I just don’t want to make it so difficult they hate the help.

  3. August 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Not that I can recall right now, but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t like it.

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