Gifts can be great expressions of love, or they can be a great burden of responsibility.

The process of gifting all starts with a thought. It requires, as a first step, thinking of someone else. By thinking of someone else, and only thinking of someone else, does the gift-giving process truly begin.

After that initial thought, the next step is to look for a gift, or, more fittingly, think of one that would be perfect for the recipient. In order to do this on a meaningful level, one must run through the gamut of that person’s passions and interests. What do they like? What are their hobbies? What would mean a lot to them were they to receive something as a gift from me? What might be appropriate based upon our current relationship with one another? All of these questions factor into the giving of a gift.

After this startup process takes place the next few steps can also be crucial and important. How much money do we want to spend on a gift for this person? Should we buy something or should we make something? How will we wrap it and give it to them?

These questions are equally important and vital to the entire gift-giving process.

Giving is seen throughout history as a way to express love, affection, appreciation, and gratitude.

On the flipside of that evoked love, though, can occasionally come a much different feeling. The burden portion of gift-giving typically comes from the recipient’s side of the matter. If it is not a special occasion, then the usual array of questions begins: Why am I receiving this? Do I have to give them a gift in return? I would feel guilty if I did not. What are the other strings attached to this gift I am getting?

When we give or receive gifts, for whatever reason, what are our thoughts, our motivations, and our intentions?

On both sides, we must ask ourselves, where are our hearts in the matter? What are our own intentions, regardless of what the other person’s may be? Does it “feel” right? Is our act of generosity going to be taken the wrong way?

Here are some instances of Jesus’ generosity: At Cana Christ generously creates 180 new gallons of wine, which is even more than any wedding party could ever consume. At the Sea of Galilee, five thousand people suffering from hunger are fed with a paltry twelve baskets of leftovers. After a night of constant fishing and no catches, Simon Peter is told to cast his net on the opposite side of the boat by the risen Jesus. And, much to his surprise, 153 rather large fish begin jumping into the boat.

Even though the New Testament is filled with stories of Jesus’ generosity, the greatest gift any of us have ever received is the gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

The gift of Jesus Christ sent to us by God, and the selfless giving of Himself to ensure we receive the gift of eternal life, is one of the best gifts we could ever receive. It’s an awesome expression of His love for us and it comes with no strings attached.