It’s A Givin’ Thing


Servant Working. Sacrificial Giving


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

2 Corinthians 8:7

Make sure that you also do well in the grace of giving to others.


This episode is a retelling of the holiday tale by O. Henry, "The Gift of the Magi." Liz is looking for something special to give to Lucille for Christmas. He settles on an expensive cover for her treasured book of the history of Terrene. In order to pay for it, he sells his video game player. Meanwhile, Lucille sells her book in order to buy Liz a game to play on his video game player. The story illustrates the beauty of sacrificial giving-giving even when it hurts.

God looks at the cost of the gift from the viewpoint of how much it costs us, not just how much it costs. As parents (and grandparents) we find it hard to allow our children to give sacrificially-we try to make up for whatever it is that they have lost in their giving (as Granny does in this episode). Maybe we shouldn't. Maybe we should allow our children to taste the bittersweet fruit of giving, even when it hurts.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What did Liz want to buy for Lucille?
A. A cover for her prize possession-a book on the history of Terrene.

Q. What did Lucille want to buy for Liz?
A. A video game for his video game player.

Q. What did Liz sell in order to buy the book cover?
A. His video game player.

Q. What did Lucille sell in order to buy the video game?
A. Her book.

Q. How did Granny make this all work out?
A. She bought both the book and the video game player and gave them back to Liz and Lucille as her gift to them.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.

What do you think is more important—how much a gift costs to buy? Or how much a gift costs to give?
This question reminds me of the story of the widow's offering in Luke 21. First Jesus saw rich people putting their gifts in the temple offering boxes. And then He saw a poor widow bring her offering. In contrast to the generous offerings of the rich people, the widow only put in two small coins. But Jesus commented to His disciples that the widow had actually given a greater gift because she had given all that she had; she kept nothing for herself (Luke 21:1-2). Paul has the same idea when praises the Macedonian church for their giving—even though they were very poor, they gave generously to others who were in need (2 Corinthians 8).

Sacrificial giving pleases God. But seldom do we give until it hurts. We give out of our leftovers—whatever is left over after all our own needs and wants are taken care of. May God help us to hold onto all our resources loosely so that we can give generously, even if it hurts.

What does it mean to give sacrificially?


It means to give something that you need or want for yourself (Luke 21…); it means to give something that you really love so that someone else can enjoy it.


Why is giving so important to God?


It causes people to praise him (2 Corinthians 9:13), and it is a reflection of his own heart--God gave us his only Son so that we might live (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 8:9, 9:15). Giving to others in need blesses God as well as those who receive our gifts. When we give to someone in need we are giving to God. (See Matthew 25:34-40.)


Many Christians use the biblical guideline of tithing to determine what they give away-that is, one tenth of all their resources. Do you think you could give 90 percent of your allowance away, and keep only ten, instead of the other way around? Could you do this for one week? One month?
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