The Joy Of Giving


Photo credit: diamond girl

Last night, I happened to see a reality show about a New York City woman who was planning her wedding.

Her mother had been saving for many years for her daughter’s wedding and was determined to spare no expense to make the day a fairy tale.

What followed truly boggled my mind:

*She, her daughter, and the daughter’s finacee flew to Italy for the sole purpose of picking out the glasses that the bride and the groom would use for their first toast.

*The bride happened to see an outlandish wedding dress in a runway show and knew that was the perfect dress for her big day. The bridal shop had it in stock and she loved it. When she asked the price, the saleswoman told her, “It’s ONLY $34,000!”

The giggling bride tells the camera, “Well, my mom said she was willing to spend $100,000, so I guess this is a bargain!”

*The bride insisted that she have special eyelashes for the big day.

The false eyelashes were made of mink and dotted with real diamonds.

*The bride’s trademark look was pink lipstick and she wanted to pick a special shade for her big day. She, her mother, and one of her bridesmaids looked at every single shade in a makeup superstore, yet nothing was deemed perfect. Could a custom shade be made? Why, of course it could…for a price. Various shades of pink were mixed until the “perfect” shade was attained and the bride and her mom were happy.

*The carpet at the reception venue was not acceptable to the mother…so she had it replaced! (This was an enormous room).

For one night.

How many guests do you think even noticed the carpet?

*Orchids were the bride’s favorite flower. Just one costs $25. However, she had to have thousands of orchids at her wedding. You do the math on that one.

*The excitement was high the day the custom made toasting glasses were delivered from Italy. Alas, they did not match perfectly…so they would not be used at the reception. When the bride told her groom that her mother had vetoed the glasses and they would have to find something new, he dryly commented, “I’m sure the guests will say, ‘Wow, that was such a beautiful wedding…until we saw those hideous toasting glasses! That ruined everything!”

Sadly, the sarcasm was completely lost on the bride, who was already wondering where in the world she would possibly find new toasting glasses at this late hour!

Oh the humanity!

*Speaking of the groom, everything he wanted for the wedding was vetoed by his future mother-in-law. When told that he was upset, this woman simply shrugged her shoulders. She could have cared less. He was simply a means to an end to allow her baby girl to have her dream wedding day.

After all this meticulous planning, the wedding went off without a hitch. The bride’s mother never told her how much she spent on the wedding but it must have been easily in the seven figures.

I found this entire show repulsive and it made me angry. It also made me sad.

It was repulsive because I have rarely seen such extreme. non-apologetic, and nauseating self-indulgence.

I know that people have a right to use their money any way they like. I get that.

However, there is just so much need!

*At least of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

*For the 1.9 billion children in the developing world, there are 640 million without adequate shelter ( 1 in 3); 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5);  270 million with no access to health services ( 1 in 7).

* 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation

It made me angry because with all the needless waste that was spent on that  one day, so many could have been helped. There are so many who are trying to make a difference who could use money to fund their amazing work:

Katie  in Uganda

Gwen in America

Megan in Haiti

Steven and Mary Beth Chapman in China

Franklin Graham with Samaritan’s Purse

Compassion International

Christine at A21

And it made me sad because these people are so in love with the trinkets of this world that are passing away. I do have compassion for them.

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind.”—Ecclesiastes 1:14

No amount of money can buy peace with God.

Behind all the glitz of this world lies a  hollow emptiness that can never be filled.

The truth is that EVERYTHING (including our money) belongs to God and we will all give an account to Him as to how we use His resources during our time on this earth. (Matthew 25:14-30).

He has dealt with me on this issue big time and much of that has been very painful. However, it has been worth every tear and every struggle as my heart has been pried away from the  temporary treasures of this world and redirected toward the true treasures of eternity.

My first thought is no longer, “What can I get?” but “What can I give?”  

God has blessed us so we can bless others.

I have learned that the more you give, the greater your joy. Not just a little joy either…I am talking huge, overflowing, abundant JOY.

Be a good steward. Resist the urge toward self-indulgence all the time (no, I am NOT saying that it is wrong to enjoy nice things. Just keep it all in perspective). Open your eyes to see the need all around you.

And give generously.

Our God loves cheerful givers!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Joy Of Giving

  1. Su Geiger

    I love how perfectly you put this problem (the world’s obsession with the temporal & material things) into words. Thank you for letting us know where our money can be better spent…God bless His servants to those in need!

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