Most of us remember our best and worst gifts — the ones we’ve given and the ones we’ve received.
They may be from decades ago, but the holidays are the perfect time to retell the stories. So we do. Over and over again!
If you listen carefully, you’ll discover that the worst gifts get worse every year. The stories grow by exaggeration. Even people who weren’t there when the gift was given seem to have something to add to the story!
But the best gifts are remembered differently.
The best gifts all share something in common. It’s not what they represent or the impact of the moment. It’s a foundational trait that sets them apart from every other gift.
What sets the best gifts apart is this: they’re uncommon.
To be uncommon is to be unique, remarkable, one-of-a-kind.
The creative inspiration behind uncommon gifts comes from the original “Gansta Wrapper” Himself, the best Giver of all — God. And in Romans 12:6-8 (TPT), we read about His way of giving uncommon gifts.
6 God’s marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts and ministries that are uniquely ours. So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, you must activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy. 7 If your grace-gift is serving, then thrive in serving others well. If you have the grace-gift of teaching, then be actively teaching and training others. 8 If you have the grace-gift of encouragement, then use it often to encourage others. If you have the grace-gift of giving to meet the needs of others, then may you prosper in your generosity without any fanfare. If you have the gift of leadership, be passionate about your leadership. And if you have the gift of showing compassion, then flourish in your cheerful display of compassion.
God’s gift-giving M.O. is amazing! He’s given us remarkable gifts, and none of the gift combinations are the same. He has created in each of us a one-of-a-kind masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
This means no one else has what you have. No one else has your exact combination or proportion of giftings.
They’re 100% remarkable. 100% unique. 100% uncommon.
Whether you’re gifted with encouragement, compassion, hospitality, generosity, creativity, craftsmanship or organization, your combination can’t be found in anyone else. It’s a combination with a destination, designed to work and to make a difference in the world.
But for your gifts to work, you have to follow the one instruction given: you have to give your gifts away.
Take a look again at each of the gifts mentioned in the passage from Romans listed above.
Look at how each gift is framed with a bias toward action.
If you have words of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement, you could tell people what you appreciate or admire about them, whether in written or verbal for. If you’re someone with the gift of hospitality and a passion for helping out, you could find ways to make others feel welcomed and loved. If your heart burns with compassion, do something to change the world… more than crying every time you see a commercial that moves you (you know the one with sad puppy faces!).
Just like a lung supplies something unique and completely different than your heart, your gifts supply to others something they need and cannot get any other way.
God’s gifts in you only work when they’re given away.
And since you’re uniquely created, your expression of giftedness is uniquely needed.
In fact, expressions of giftedness are as numerous as there are people on the planet. The way you express your gift will not look the same as other people because you weren’t made like anyone else.
Your uncommon combination is designed to work in uncommon ways, beginning with the people in your sphere of influence.
These are people who do life together with you — from your family to those you hang out with while watching your kids play sports. They’re your neighbors, church family and professional colleagues. They’re people you meet at Starbucks everyday who need to know you appreciate them. It might be someone going through a painful moment who needs compassion. Friends healing from loss who need comforted. It could be a colleague stepping up into a new role, ready for someone to celebrate with them.
The people in your pathway of influence aren’t there by accident, and neither are you. You have something they need, and are positioned for uncommon influence when you give your gifts away.
Giving uncommon gifts begins by realizing that you already have what others need.
The next step is to pay attention to those around you.
Romans 12:9a (TPT) provides a starting point for putting your gifts into action. It says to “let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another […] — to always listen to the movement of your heart towards the need in others.
The act of giving uncommon gifts begins where all good gifts begin: love.
Love is expressed in hugs, words of kindness, and simple expressions of appreciation. Whether it’s being fully present at lunch (no scrolling on your phone!) or writing a note of thanks or celebration, the authentic, everyday ways you show up for others is where your gifts are given away.
This season, love well by giving the gifts in you away to others. A little intentionality will go a long way! Here are some ideas to kickstart the uncommon gift-giver in you.
When you give freely of what you have in you, you’re doing more than you realize. You’re actually giving people what they need most, and that’s the best of who you are… just for them.
Be an uncommon gift giver.
Give your gifts away this season… over and over again.
It’s one of the most beautiful and brave ways to build your life and the lives of others well.
Cheers to a season FULL of uncommon gifts!