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Give Your Gifts in Private

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Are you a Starbucks fan? My weakness is a Venti Mocha Frappuccino Light–Double Blended. Yes, it’s a lot to say at a drive-up window, and it’s a lot to pay at $5.68 per drink! That’s without the whipped cream! I know, I know. I could just make a cup of coffee at home for a fraction of the price, but I love them so much. This pricey drink, however, will make the rest of this story worth reading.

Caffeine Bound

It was the middle of a busy week, and I was driving through town when I spotted the green Starbucks logo. Oh, that would make my afternoon, I thought. I glanced at my car’s dashboard clock and realized why I had no energy. It was three o’clock; I needed caffeine. I was trying to minimize my Starbucks intake, but I rationalized my indulgence knowing that the purchase points would get me closer to a free drink. A weak excuse, but it worked.

Barista Delay

I waited at the drive-up window for a long time. Finally, there was only one car ahead of me. Now get your drink and get going, I thought. To my surprise, after the barista handed the driver a drink, they started talking at the window. “No! Please, no conversations,” I mumbled. With a final sigh, I rolled my eyes and turned up my worship music. Yes, I was having an attitude while listening to, Hosanna.

Order Up

The car drove away, and I quickly drove up to the order window, “Hello, could I please have a Venti Mocha Frappuccino Light–Double Blended,” I asked. The barista repeated my order and quickly disappeared.

The barista came back to the window, and as I reached for my Smartphone to pay for my drink with my Starbucks app, he said, “No need to pay, Maam. The person in the car in front of you paid for your drink.”

Lesson Learned 

What? I guess I needed humble pie with my coffee.

I had no way of thanking the person because they had already driven off. Why did a total stranger buy me anything? I guess they wanted to do something for someone else and receive nothing back. They wanted to extend kindness without recognition. My $5.68 drink suddenly became more valuable than money. It was a lesson that inspired me to do the same for others.

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew 6:3-4 New Living Translation

Give Your Gifts in Private

When we give to less fortunate people, it’s a kind act, but there’s usually some form of recognition. For example, there’s a receipt or record kept for tax purposes or the recipient acknowledges the gift in some way.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but giving in secret to someone we encounter throughout the day can test our motives. I had to ask myself, is it enough to know God sees my heart, motives, and deeds? Do I need public recognition when I do an untraceable favor or make someone’s day easier? It was a sobering question for this former people pleaser.

Whether it’s a small or large need, a gift given in secret will bless both the giver and recipient. My Frappuccino donor will not be forgotten. (Thank you–whoever you are!)

How can you bless someone this week? How can you share Christ’s love to someone God brings your way?

Blessings!

Marisa Shadrick

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