by James L. Rubart
This is the season for gift exchanges. But isn't that an oxymoron?
- A gift is something given with no expectation of anything in return.
- An exchange is when I give you something, you give me something back.
I've had times where I've given friends gifts at Christmas and not received one in return and it's hurt my feelings. You too? Whew. Nice to know I'm not alone.
Jesus had a few thoughts about giving: In Luke 14 he says, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid."
What? I'm not supposed to get something back?
A number of years ago a friend of mine gave a secret scholarship so a writer could attend the Mt Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. She says it's a treasured memory, primarily because she gave it without any possibility of the person giving anything in return. Hmmm, I think there's a lesson here.
Dying To Self
When we truly die to self (yeah, like that's easy) we are able to give from a full heart with no expectation of what will come back to us. There is such freedom and joy in that!
No matter how long you've been on this writing journey, there are people ahead of you. And no matter how short, there are people behind you. So go crazy, and take a moment to tell that person ahead of you how much they have inspired you. That's such a gift.
Then turn around and take a moment to tell that writer a few paces behind you how you believe in them, and to grab onto hope and never let go. That too is an incredible gift.
Because deep inside, whether we're a bestseller, or are just starting our first novel, we are an insecure lot who wonder if we matter, wonder if we have worth. And the gift of encouragement we can give each other is worth more than gold.
James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of six novels. He’s also a professional speaker, and marketer who helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at http://jameslrubart.com/