Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Shepastor: “Understanding Why We Do What We Do”
The other day I read a USA Today article that talked about gifts, givers and recipients. The article suggested that gifts given say more about the “giver” of the gift than the recipient. Consider the following quote…
"Giving is almost more about the giver" than it is about the recipient, says Tina Lowrey, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas-San Antonio who has studied gift-giving behavior.
One way to select better presents is to be aware of what kind of giver you are, she says.
"It depends on the person, of course, but if someone does become aware of their shopping roles, they can change the way they buy," says Lowrey.
While this article was clearly speaking about Christmas shopping, I believe the concept can easily be applied to other aspects of our behavior. From time to time we need to ask ourselves the question, “Why did I do that?” We would like to believe that our acts of kindness, benevolence and overall attitude of giving are intended for the betterment or joy of others. From time to time, however, we must re-examine our motives.
Kindness, sharing, giving and helping are all beautiful, necessary and legitimate expressions of Christian love. Sometimes, however, our reluctance to deal with our own internal issues relative to what motivates our actions blind us to unhealthy patterns for our lives. Sometimes, our gifts or actions are more about us than fulfilling a need for another. Sometimes it’s a need to keep busy. Sometimes it’s a need to control. Sometimes it is a need to douse guilt. Sometimes we are fulfilling our need to please. Sometimes we are “just trying to matter.”
Giving is a beautiful thing. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20: 35) As we do whatever we do, let’s ask the Lord to help us to do/give with pure motives, no strings attached and in the true vein of blessing another.
To read more about “gift-giving behavior,” visit,
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance