All Good Gifts around Us ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

The Christian Science Monitor, November 22, 1999 | Go to article overview

All Good Gifts around Us ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life


When I was a child, a woman would stand up in our church nearly every week, give gratitude to God - "the Giver of all good gifts" - and then sit down.

I loved that. I actually looked forward to it. It seemed the service wasn't quite complete until that woman stood and said her few words.

One time on the way home, I mentioned how much I enjoyed the woman's remark. My mother scoffed at the repetition and said she wished the woman would say something different. Maybe my mother had a valid point. But years later, I still remind myself to be grateful to God, "the Giver of all good gifts."

It's great to feel that good comes from God, rather than from a person. If we look to people for good gifts, we might be frequently disappointed. And those around us could feel burdened by our continual expectations. But when we realize that God is good, we can rest assured of infinite blessings.

The Holy Bible promises that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). God is not a capricious Being who blesses some while withholding good from others. Divine Love is invariable, unchangeable, and loves each aspect of its creation equally. God's fountain of blessings is unceasing. Love is truly universal, patient with each of us until we're willing to accept the blessing.

What are some of the gifts from God? Searching the Scriptures, I discovered that at first God was often seen as giving things such as land, flocks, and children. As the writers became less materially focused, they began to write of God giving gifts such as peace, strength, grace, glory, wisdom. These spiritual qualities are not less tangible than houses and property, nor do they preclude them. It appeared to me that prosperity was being redefined as Bible writers discovered that qualities of thought have more impact on happiness and well-being than the acquisition of physical objects.

Perhaps they also began to realize that expressing wisdom, mercy, and humility brought them whatever material prosperity was necessary. When Solomon was given the opportunity to ask for a gift from God, he asked for spiritual wisdom. …

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