The manner of giving often shows the character of the giver more than the gift itself.
If the manner of giving shows the character of the giver, as Mr Lavater herein suggests, then perhaps we should take a closer look at the manner of giving employed by our Father God to better understand His character. The first gift ever given was by Him and it came in the form of creation.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Before creation, there was only God. There were the three Persons of the GodHead, and nothing else. There were no chairs, no footstools, no loungers, no cars, trucks, planes, or buses, no houses, no food, no clothing. There was nothing and there was no one else.
This can be difficult sometimes for our minds to comprehend, since we are born into a physical world, first surrounded closely in the womb on all sides, then by the physical world outside of there, confronted by air next as we take our initial breath upon exit. We have been surrounded by “stuff” our entire lives. So, it is hard to comprehend that, at one time, there was only God. Regardless of our inability to understand this completely, it remains true and therefore, we must ask ourselves the question of why? Why did God create the world, the heavens, the stars, the plants, the animals, and the rocks, and us?
Was God lonely? I should think not. God is three Persons, Who are always in agreement and Who are complete. All Three are in continual communion with One Another. Loneliness? That is a human emotion that is amplified in the absence of our Creator. No, God was not lonely.
Was God bored? I should think not. With God, there is always contentment and peace. He may get angered by our sins and our disobedience, but only because it separates us from Him. He wants only peace between us and Him. Would a God Who desires peace be bored with it? I should think not.
What then? Why did He create us?
God created us because He has love eternal. Come on! He is love, after all. Love builds. Love creates. Love is not self seeking. Love does not envy. Could you, if you were God, knowing that you could create life and share Yourself in all righteousness and goodness withhold that ability? Would you be so selfish as to keep the peace and joy that you communally share with the GodHead to yourself? That is not our God. He could no more not create and share His goodness than Satan could not lie.
And that is the character of our God, the Greatest of all givers. He spent the first five days making all that is around us, and then He gave us us. Then, because He is Who He is, righteous and good, full of a heart to share Himself and His creation, He presented the garden to Adam and gave Adam free reign over all and freedom to eat of all, save the fruit of a single tree, but even then, His mercy and love, His character to protect us shone through because He didn’t want Adam to die.
It was because Adam chose wrongly and brought death that God ultimately gave us that unspeakable Gift of His Only Begotten. In so doing, He gave us once more the life we were originally designed to have in the original gift from the beginning.
That is character I want to have and emulate. I want to take no affront when my love is not returned. I want to take no offense when my charity goes unnoticed, when my time and effort go unrewarded, nor when my life of following The Lord garners shame from the world. I want to chase after Jesus with all of my heart. I want to give Him all of my mind, spirit, strength, and soul and in so doing, I want to love every man, woman, and child. And when they scoff, I want to be like God and choose to love them all the more, because that is the character of our God. He was there when He created us, and He was there when He redeemed us. All that we might have that life eternal and more abundant with Him.