LCH (in)courage Queen Graphic 1 Purple[2]

“Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon” {1 Kings 10:10}.

Rare and precious in any kingdom, the spices from the land of Sheba were the most personal and the most prized of the queen’s gifts for Solomon. In fact, the people of Israel had never seen such a load of balsam, myrrh, Arabian balm, and frankincense enter their country. When it comes to being generous, the queen of Sheba set a high standard.

But no one can out-give the Lord.

Jesus gave everything He had so we could have everything He came to give. The freedom of forgiveness. The grace to begin afresh every morning. The promise of eternal life. When we give to others, we do so in His name and because of His example.

In the end gift giving is about deepening our relationships.

“God says to give,” an online sister, Judy, reminds us, “and I want to please Him.” She’s right. Scripture call us “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” {1 Timothy 6:18} As Angela says, “In a world that is so self-absorbed and constantly focused on what we can get, we’re called to a different mind-set.”

I agree with absolutely everything I’ve shared here about giving: my words, your words, God’s Word. Now the truth: I am not doing all of it. Not by a long shot.

Oh, I gladly hand out money to loved ones and am willing to buy them presents — if they give me a wish list and if I can order everything online. That’s not being kind; it’s being efficient.

When it comes to blessing people, efficiency is not a virtue.

Have I given loved ones what they’ve wanted? Sure. Have my gifts deepened our relationships? Not nearly as much as two hours around the dinner table playing Bananagrams.

What about handmade gifts? No talent. Not happening.

Cleaning houses, doing laundry, baking casseroles, or any other generous act of service? No time. Not happening.

What’s going on here? Selfishness, for starters, but it goes deeper than that.

FINAL COVER It's Good to Be Queen 800x1200 It’s fear. Fear of failing, of disappointing, of not getting it right. Fear of putting a wrinkle in our relationship. Fear that if I choose the wrong gift, someone won’t think well of me. Fear that if I spend too much, I’ll offend or embarrass. Fear that if I spend too little, I’ll hurt the person’s feelings.

If any of these fears strike a chord with you, here’s another take on gift giving, meant to set us all free. “The real gift,” Colleen says, “is letting others know God cares about them.” Boom. It’s not about us or the gift. It’s about loving God and loving people with our whole hearts.

Rather than fretting “Will they like my present?” the question we need to ask is, “How can I demonstrate God’s generous love and abundant compassion to the world around me?”

Love this excerpt from Liz’s new book, It’s Good to Be Queen? We want to give 5 of you a copy! To enter, simply complete the giveaway widget below – winners will be contacted on Friday, July 24th. US mailing addresses only.

Liz is the author of more than 30 books, with 4.5 million copies in print. Her latest book It’s Good to Be Queen will take you on a journey across the desert with the remarkable queen of Sheba. Her quest for wisdom will surprise you, challenge you, inspire you, change you. You can find It’s Good to Be Queen at DaySpring, or visit Liz’s book page for other book sellers. 

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