Beware of Giving Gifts to Yourself!

Posted on · Posted in Godward Orientation

Giving gifts to yourself is a dangerous activity. It can cost you far more than the price of the gift. No, I am not talking about the present under the tree that is labeled from Dad to Dad.  I am talking about the gifts you give to your wife or to your kids. 


The danger is giving a gift to someone for the pleasure of seeing how much you are appreciated. For example, things are a bit on the difficult side with your teenage son. You give him a new iPhone, thinking that he will be pleased with you. This is where things get dangerous. When your son (or daughter) is not overwhelmed with your gift, you are hurt and feel betrayed. You spent money on something you really could not afford. You are angry because it was not appreciated. You feel this way because in reality, you were giving the gift to yourself. This sort of gift only brings unhappiness.  This is illustrated when a few months later your son says something unkind to you. Your first thought, if not your first word, is what a waste to have given him that stupid phone! This is the gift that keeps on hurting long after it is given.


If you give in order to gain something for yourself, then you have not followed Christ but the world.

Give to show love, to show appreciation, to show gratitude. Give because of what has been given to you in Christ.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.