Words of Worth

Every Good and Perfect Gift

December 23, 2016

Do you struggle every Christmas with finding good and perfect gifts along with the perfect balance of gift giving? Do you struggle with what to give to the person who has everything, or how much to give to express how much someone means to you? How do you give the good and perfect gift without breaking the bank and without getting caught up in materialism and consumerism?

Every year I struggle with this. At least every year until last year when I saw what I thought was the perfect and good gift giving guide! It was the first time I saw this, but apparently this guide has been around for a few years and maybe you even know about it and knew about it before I did.  The article I saw was entitled something like, Simplify Gift Giving this Year 2015 and the suggestion was to give to your children, in particular, a gift in each of four categories—something they WANT, something to READ, something to WEAR, and something they NEED.  Did you see it or know of it?

I thought it was great and so I followed the advice last year and it made gift giving so much easier.  It helped me to give meaningfully, significantly and abundantly without going overboard, if you know what I mean.

When I was a little kid, my best friend next door had what I would consider an overboard Christmas each year.  It started with their Christmas tree. Let’s just say their tree could have been the perfect substitute for the Trafalgar Square tree given by Norway each year to England. And then around the tree were so many gifts that it looked like their living room was Macy’s store location!

Speaking of Macy’s, who of us hasn’t camped out at a department store or two in order to buy the gift of the year for our kids?  I remember when Cabbage patch dolls were all the rage—the demand for them was high but apparently the birth rate was low. So parents stood in lines waiting for the doors of the store to open and all the fruit of the Spirit went by the wayside as the dark underbelly of our personalities took over. We yanked gifts out of people’s hands and stomped all over other human beings –whatever it took to get the gift!

The Bible sort of talks about this—well at least about the way we provide gifts for our children and not the way we procure them:

“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

Matthew 7:11

Even in our wickedness, we know how to give appropriately—bread instead of stones. And we know how to not give inappropriately—we don’t give a serpent—something harmful- in place of fish—something helpful to our children. But HOW MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  God, who does not need a gift giving guide from Pinterest, knows how to give bread and good and perfect gifts to us.

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth….”

James 1: 17 

But what if, just out of curiosity, God were to follow this Simplified Gift Giving Guide? What would that look like?  What would God give to us that we NEED, that we could WEAR, that we could WANT and that we could READ?

Here’s what I think. God wrapped up one gift for all of mankind and it accomplished fulfilling all four categories. In 2 Corinthians 5: 21 we see how God did this:

God made Jesus Christ who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  The perfect Righteousness of Christ is imputed or placed on us by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.

As a result of this, God gives to us what we NEED-payment for our sins, and something to WEAR-robes of righteousness. God gives us salvation, our daily bread, the desires of our hearts-what we WANT, and His Word of Truth, which is His Son, to READ.

He gives every good and perfect gift and He wants for us to enjoy His gifts:

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” 

(1 Timothy 6:17 NIV)

Well what will we do with all the gifts we receive on Christmas day?  We’ll enjoy them and spend time with them.  Remember how that was when we were little? We wanted to play with your toys and gifts all day long.

Whether you follow this gift giving guide or not, why not at least think about the things you really NEED this year and the things you really WANT this year. What do you need, want and try to think beyond material things?

I remember reading about a family in which all the kids received at least 15 gifts for Christmas.  A year later they were asked to recall those gifts and they could only remember two out fifteen. Yet when the parents asked the kids to say what they remembered about their last vacation, there was no end to what they recalled.  It makes me think that time together, in relationship, is more impacting than opening up gifts.

So how is your relationship with God going? Are there things you need from Him that you are not asking Him about?

Are there things you want?

Are you wearing some unattractive characteristics that you need to shed?

Are you reading His Word and spending time with Him?

Do you even have a relationship with God and His Son? Unfortunately, there are many people who do not want to let God into their lives because they fear God will make them give up anything that is fun and that to be spiritual is to be miserable.  If that’s true for you, why not invite Jesus into your heart and then enjoy the best relationship you’ll ever have? ASK Him and then ENJOY His presence in your life.

If you have already invited Him in, make more room for Him in your life. And in Him, you will never lack in any of the four categories of the Simplified Gift Giving Guide.

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