Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… James 1:17 (NRSV)
If we have an exaggerated sense of self-worth, then we can easily believe that we deserve all the good gifts we receive.
If we have worked diligently and have been very productive, then we can easily believe that we have rightly earned the good gifts we have received as our salary or wages.
This scripture says nothing about our being deserving or our being justly compensated for our labors. Instead all generosity in giving and every perfect gift is attributed to God and having come down from the Father of lights. As I read and reflect on this verse from the first chapter of the Epistle of James, I am aware and better yet reminded that God has set the bar on giving and has set it very high indeed. God is exceedingly generous and gives only perfect gifts.
In our affluent society it becomes more and more difficult for us to give gifts to others that they do not already have or that they could not have already purchased for themselves on their own. There have been a few times in my life when I have felt that I gave someone the perfect gift for Christmas, birthday or on another occasion. Often it had a sentimental value or it had been an investment of my time and talents. It would be hard to put a price on those gifts. On those rare occasions when I believed I was giving the perfect gift, I have felt tremendous joy.
Of course, the evangelist John told us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.” That is God’s greatest gift to us, but God continues to give to us 24/7 and 365/366 days per year. I believe that God derives great pleasure in giving to us and it is good to be reminded every day of God’s generosity and how God showers us with perfect gifts each day!
O God, we thank You for Your incredible generosity and for giving perfect gifts to us always. Help us to likewise find joy in giving. Help us also to recognize always that behind every gift we have ever received or ever will receive You are the ultimate source. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.