I was thumbing through A New Day: 365 Meditations for Personal and Spiritual Growth (Anonymous, 1989) when I ran across the following:  “Thought for Today: Your sobriety is God’s gift to you. What you do with your sobriety is your gift to God” (p.266).

Reading that statement made me stop and think. I believe this is true about all the gifts I have been given by God. I have many gifts from God, and what I do with them is important. If I collect God’s gifts and keep them to myself, then they lose their magic. It is only when I share them with others that they have meaning. There is a 12 step saying that “if you don’t give it away, you’ll lose it.” This underscores the importance of “passing it on” so that the magic of whatever gift you’ve been given can be shared with others and kept alive.

St. Francis is attributed with saying, “For it is in giving that we receive…”. The true essence of a gift from God cannot be truly appreciated unless it is shared with others. The act of sharing allows  us to experience the love inherent in God’s gift. There are many ways such shared love can be perceived. For instance, we can see it in the smile of the one with whom we’ve shared it, in a person’s expressed excitement when a new concept first makes sense, and when relief replaces worry in someone’s facial expression. If we keep God’s gifts all “bottled up” inside us and never share them, they can “go flat”—– much like carbonation goes out of a soda that is set aside for later and never drunk.

What are your thoughts about “it is in giving that we receive”—-that what we do with a gift from God is our gift to God?

I look forward to reading your comments.