I am super excited about what I learned today.
How many times have I read this verse—one I have my children memorize—assuming that I knew the meaning...
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17
First of all, notice the word of absolute used here...twice! “Every”. This is VERY important! Whenever Scripture uses a word of absolute—never, always, all, none, each, etc. pay close attention! In our own speech we are very careful NOT to use words of absolute. Remember—never say never!
Every = each, any, all, the whole...is always from God!
I just figured that the same word was used both times here, but no! It is not the same Greek word at all!
Let’s look at them in reverse order.
“Every perfect gift...” The Greek word for gift used here is “dorema” and means exactly what we would think—“the thing given”. The word perfect is “teleios” and means “wanting nothing necessary to completeness”.
Okay, pretty straight forward. Now let’s look at the first part.
“Every good gift...” The word used here is “dosis” and it is actually referring to “the act of giving”. The same word is used in Philippians 4:15, “...no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone.” Good is the word “agathos” and means “excellent; profitable; useful”.
Put it all together and this is what we’ve got!
Every manner in which God gives to us is good—profitable and useful!
Every thing He gives us is complete, lacking nothing!
Everything God gives me is complete, lacking nothing.
And every manner in which He gives is good for me—profitable and useful!
That is a huge change in perspective for me!
I mean, I know it—I assume it because I know He is only good. But it is written! His way to provide for me and supply experiences for my growth is only and every time done in a way that is good. Even if I “see” the way as hard, painful, unnecessary, or unfair! What I see “in part” doesn’t seem so good or feel so good—but it IS! It has to be because He cannot go against His Character!
Seeing it in the original language here in this verse together—gift & presentation—is powerful!
Not only is every gift from God perfect—
but the way He gives me each gift is too!
Each and every one...is a gift.
And the way it comes down to me from the Father of lights—Who was never kindled and can never be quenched—is perfect brilliance for me personally!
This is grace. I’m absolutely wrecked for anything less than God’s grace!