I’ve always enjoyed gifts. Shocking, I know. But I don’t just love getting gifts. I very much enjoy buying something very specific and very well thought out for someone and giving it to him or her. To me, honest gift giving is one of the purest expressions of friendship. Giving the perfect gift is saying, “I know you. I know who you are, what you like, and what makes you happy; and I have bought or made something that caters to that.” I tend to over-analyze gifts when I receive them and when I give them because God has given me the love language of gift giving. I love to find gifts that identify with people I care about and I love when they do the same for me. However, I struggle to remember that the planets do not orbit around me and not everyone is like me when it comes to love languages. To others, gifts are trivial. A Starbucks card will suffice. They speak their love in other ways. But when I’m given even a mediocre gift, I’m offended. I can’t help but think, “I thought you knew me better than that. Has our friendship not reached beyond the superficiality of the Starbucks gift card?” completely ignoring their own love language pouring over me. I’ve been learning the importance of looking past my own expressions of love or appreciation so that I can enjoy and accept that of others. Instead of being offended upon receiving a seemingly impersonal gift, look for the love shown to you in their own way.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
1 Corinthians 12: 4-6, New International Version
God chooses our spiritual gifts with great intention. He chooses them so that we may communicate his love towards others in a way that makes sense to us. Love languages are very similar in that your natural tendencies in expressing love aren’t always universal. But even if the same language isn’t spoken, it doesn’t mean love can’t be communicated. It may require more effort to find, but love can surpass any love-language-barrier when we allow it to.
What is your love language?
Do you have difficulty communicating/receiving love with those who have different love languages?
God, show me how to communicate your love to others. Give me wisdom to use the love language you have given me. Help me to recognize when others are showing me love.
Romans 12: 6-8
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
1 Peter 4:10-11
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.