Giving, if you let it, will transform your soul. As a spiritual practice, giving breaks the strongholds of fear and worry. When we are generous, we wade into the abundant flow of God's grace. When we give without thought of what we'll receive in return, we reflect, with astonishing accuracy, divine generosity. We declare that our fear of scarcity will not rule our lives. We gain insight into how God feels when he gives to us. Is it possible that he delights in bestowing good gifts on his children?

Our culture, unfortunately, misunderstands giving. We think of it, honestly, as trading. I get you something, you get me something—hopefully we spend about the same amount so no one feels awkward. We all know that panicked feeling when friends show up at our door in December with wrapped packages in their hands and we realize we didn't get anything for them. We now feel we "owe" them a gift. I've read holiday tips in women's magazines that suggest keeping a wrapped stash of generic gifts ...

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