Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b
It was, well, amazing. I like to receive presents. I love to receive presents. Some guy wrote a book about the five love languages and basically, he said that everyone has at least one love language. If you want to “ring someone’s bell” or “top off their love tank”, you do it by speaking their love language. Well, my two primary love languages are gifts and words of affirmation. Every time one of you leaves a kind comment about Grits, the nozzle goes in my love tank and fills it up. How about that?
Well, my other love language is this gift thing. When someone gives me something, it just rings my bell. Several years ago, a friend visited Gettysburg and brought me back a set of coasters. It was totally unexpected, and it just rang my bell. He probably thought, “What’s the deal, dude? It is only a set of coasters.” But no, it was more. It said, “I thought of you.” And, several years later it still brings a smile to my face. We have a couple of good friends that like to travel, and they often bring me a souvenir of their travels and it is always blesses me. Boom—a full love tank.
Well, something happened last year that was pretty awesome. We have a family who is part of our church family, and they are just a special group of people. It is hard to put a finger on it but words like authentic and caring come to mind. Well, after church one day, the mom in this family came up to me and was just beaming—and I mean beaming with joy and excitement. Her entire countenance said, “Something good had happened.” I wasn’t sure what it was, but I couldn’t wait to hear what it was. I was in for a surprise.
Here is what tumbled out of her mouth. “We bought you something and I couldn’t wait to tell you. I know I was supposed to wait but I just couldn’t. I saw this on Facebook and said, “We have to buy this for Bro. Dewayne.” She bubbled and bubbled, and I was in awe. The gift was the “Fingerprint” of God. It was a print in the shape of a fingerprint and the fingerprint was made from a scripture from each book in the Bible. It sounded amazing and when it came in and they gave it to me, it was. It will soon have a home in my church office, and it will have a story…this story.
You see, the gift really was amazing, but the unseen gift was equally so. What was the unseen gift? It was their—her—unbridled, unlimited joy and enthusiasm in not “getting” a gift but “giving” one. Her joy in giving this special print to me, her friend, and her pastor, touched me and taught me. It touched me that this special family made a sacrifice and bought me this gift. It taught me that just like Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I have heard that verse for many, many years and have seen it on display at different levels. But this time…this act of love taught me what it really means.
I have to wonder if this is what it is like when a person comes to follow Jesus for the first time. I mean the Bible says God throws a party. The Bible says that all heaven breaks loose when someone comes home. I can just imagine the smile on Jesus’ face when a person He loves and died for finally gets it and trusts Him. I bet it looks at least something like the face of this family and especially my friend who shared the news with me, “We bought you something.” We want to..wait for it…not get but give. Amazing.
Though I love to travel and try and go to Africa once a year, I have always struggled with learning a new language. But I wonder if that might need to change? Maybe today, maybe this week, maybe I, maybe you, need to learn a new language. No, I’m not talking Swahili—I’m talking about someone’s love language. Someone in your world, your spouse, your kids, your neighbor ,or maybe someone else. Learn what tops their love tank and do it.
The guy who wrote the book says the love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, and quality time. Why not learn and practice someone’s love language today? If you are like me and struggle with learning (I can barely speak English), just ask the Father for a little help. He will be more than glad to help you. He loves it when His kids can speak love. Yup…He’s got that too. Bro. Dewayne