Everyone is looking for an edge in business, in their personal relationships and in the rest of their lives. Here are three keys to Prosperity and Abundance that are tied to gifts.
Recently, I was listening to a talk by Kris Vallotton at Bethel Church in Redding, California. He’s a best-selling author and leads a ministry called Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry which has students and alumni from around the world. He was discussing gifts and expectations on this podcast, and it brought forth a few thoughts. In addition, my wife Nay is known as “The Hospitality Queen”. She teaches by course and by example the many streams of hospitality in business and personal life. I will include some examples from our lives as to what I mean when I say, “Prosper by Hospitality”
One of the things Kris mentioned was the number of people that expect something after they give a gift. He said that folks would give large gifts and expect time or access to him or an endorsement. Make no mistake. A gift with an expectation is a bribe. Harsh? Perhaps, but nonetheless accurate. A gift is something you give with no expectation in return.
Nay gives gifts frequently, and it’s surprising to me how many people expect her to want something back. She doesn’t. Likewise, Kris and others that receive gifts should be able to take them as they are and not be expected to reciprocate. He recently had a man show up at a meeting and ask to pay off Kris’s house. He and Kathyowed nearly a half-million dollars on their home. To say Kris was reluctant to accept the gift is an understatement.
What would you do? Well, we say we’d accept it, but there are SO many gifts given with strings attached. You can read about it in his excellent book, “Poverty, Riches and Wealth”, but he finally let the guy pay off his house after a good bit of soul-searching.
So, rule number one of Prospering by Hospitality is to Give Without Reserve.
One time Nay and I were in pretty difficult circumstances financially. We had lost our house and our car and we didn’t know what to do. I was without full-time work, and we were staying with a very nice couple in a very small bedroom. Then one day a lady at our church (not where we attend now) told Nay that she had a whole wing of a house sitting empty. There was a bedroom and a full bath and it was separated by a good distance from the main living quarters. We gladly accepted her gift of allowing us to stay there until things straightened out.
When you give, you must give fully. No strings attached. Likewise, when you receive you must receive fully, without caveat or reserve.
But there is such a thing as “completing the gift”.
In mid-March of that year, after we’d been there about 45 days, I was offered a wonderful position travelling and consulting car dealerships. My first trip was March 31. On that day, our host asked us to move out. As soon as possible. Now, I don’t know about your job, but a new job doesn’t normally come with an immediate paycheck, and we had no more resources to move then than we did 45 days earlier. That same day, another lady from church asked if we’d like to use her fully-furnished house for as long as we wanted. Naturally, Nay told her our current story and got a full assurance that we could be there until we got our feet back under us. We were able to stay until we found our own place about six months later.
As for our host that had asked us to leave, when Nay told her that there was a place available and that we’d be moving out while I was on my first trip, the lady said, “See, God did provide”. While that is certainly true, He provided because a gift was not completed. We didn’t get to stay until we could move, we got to stay until we had to move.
Rule number two of Prospering by Hospitality is to Complete The Gift
Finally, when a gift is given, what do you say? If you say something like “You shouldn’t have” or “This is too nice for me”, you have taken joy from the situation.
Several times over my life, people have tried to give me things. Once when I was a poor disc jockey and Nay was sick, someone asked if we had an needs. I said, “no, we’re fine”. Did you know that a wife-stare can actually cause burns! After the person had gone, Nay corrected me. Her instruction was this: when a person wants to give, it is because they have a heart of giving. They are blessed whether I take the gift or not. But the only way I receive a blessing or a gift is if I actually take it. If I act like everything is OK when it’s not, I am not only lying, but I am not getting what has been prepared for me.
By the way, there is a teaching in Christian circles that not taking a gift denies a blessing to the giver. I disagree. When someone allows God to use them to give to another person, He sees their heart and will reward them. Whether I am wise enough to accept is irrelevant.
Rule number three of Prospering by Hospitality is to Receive the Gift.
Hospitality is much more than gift-giving, but being able to give and receive gifts is a basic hospitality skill, and if you learn them well, you will prosper!