I want to talk about gifts and giving. Yes, I have seen most stores are already setting up Christmas décor. It’s early October, for goodness sakes! So, how many of you are done with your shopping? Most of us enjoy receiving gifts… and I’m thankful that most of the people I know also thoroughly enjoy giving the right gift too.
Have you ever given the wrong gift? You know, like giving your wife the “gift” of a new treadmill or a fancy bathroom scale… Not a good idea, guys. True story: my dad once gave my mom a newfangled “electric broom.” I think it was for Christmas in 1969. A great lesson learned for me, at the young age of 10 years old: never get anything for your wife that has anything to do with making the work she does around the house easier as a, insert air quote marks, “gift.” Vacuum cleaners. Water-infused-mops. Carpet steamers. Something that makes it easier to do laundry…. Nope. That’s the wrong kind of “gift.” It kindof says that they need help doing their job… So if they need it to do a better job, just buckle down and buy it. Don’t wrap it up. Don’t wait for a special holiday. God bless my dad for trying, but giving the “gift” of the equivelant of cleaning supplies is just not a “gift.”
At least that’s what I took away from the conversation that followed once the wrapping paper and bows landed on the floor. So, I have adamantly refused to ever give my wife a vacuum cleaner as a gift… and I’ve taught my kids the same thing.
Have you ever given the right gift? The perfect gift? I’ve heard of many people scoring on that one… a piece of jewelry, a vacation, a handmade quilt…
Do you know that God has given you all the perfect gifts you need for you to do what He needs done for the Kingdom. He has!
Listen to The Message translation of Galatians 5:22:
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
Other translations call this passage the “fruit of the Spirit.” They are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22, NASB)
And most of all, He has given us His son… a gift through Whom we receive the gift of eternal life. Now that’s the perfect gift!
And what’s truly amazing about God’s gifts to us? He expects us to give them away to others. We are merely the conduit of His blessings… In God’s economic model, when we give away our time, our money, our faith… even our life, we receive… by giving.
And that is one way we become more and more and more and more like Jesus.