A Different Kind of Christmas Gift
I love to go Christmas shopping! I mean, it is one of my FAVORITE things to do of all time, so much so, that I do it ALL YEAR LONG! The only problem with that habit is that sometimes I forget in December what I purchased the January before, or I will find a gift and not know who I bought it for. Inevitably every year, as I am putting away Christmas decorations in January, I stumble upon something—a special trinket, a precious item—that I had hand-picked for a family member or friend. It may have been something they really needed or wanted. It might even have been something I knew they were praying for. But I had misplaced this precious gift, this article of my love and appreciation for them, in the closet of my kitchen or under my bed.
This blessing was “lost” to them, sitting unused and collecting dust. All the while, the actual owner of it was missing the impact it would have brought to their life, the joy they would have had opening a long-awaited book, a piece of jewelry that perfectly matched their favorite sweater, or a remote-controlled car they really wanted.
This same scenario happens every day in the lives of people around us. You see, every day, God loads us up with benefits because of His great love for us, but there’s a catch. He also wants us to learn the value of giving and receiving, so He gives some of my gifts to you and some of your gifts to me.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Psalm 68:19
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
Being Santa All Year ‘Round
God actually loads you up with blessings every day to pass out to others. It’s like we each get a Santa sack full of gifts from God with other people’s names on it! Now, we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit when He tells us to speak a kind, gentle word to the employee at Wal-Mart, or we can let that gift lay forgotten in the back of our closet. We can heed His encouragement to give an extra-large tip to the waitress at Cracker Barrel and tell her God loves her, or we can open that gift that was meant for someone else and spend it on ourselves. We can take an extra few moments with our son, who loves to play legos, and build a tower or a spaceship with him to show him that he IS important and he IS loved, or we can forget that gift in our garage for another time. We can stop by the store on our way home and buy a card for our spouse that tells them that no matter what we are going through, we will go through it together, or we can leave that gift at the store. The problem with most of these gifts, if not all, is that they are time-sensitive. As we keep these gifts that weren’t even from us, but from God, and weren’t meant for us, they rot. They turn to dust. They perish unused in the corner.
When we contemplate that these gifts were given to us by God FOR others, it changes how we see our lives. It alters our view of our finances.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:29
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
Today, God has loaded you up with His gifts, His benefits in Jesus. As you go through your life today, LISTEN. Hear the Holy Spirit as He urges you to give a smile to a child at the store. When an unexpected delay occurs in your schedule because of the foolishness of someone else, offer them the gift of grace—undeserved love and forgiveness. Let God give His gifts through YOU and you will never see your life the same way again.