This is the time of year more than any other we think about giving gifts. We find ourselves caught up in the hustle and bustle of making a list and checking it twice to make sure we have covered everyone. I found myself caught in the hustle and bustle when I left the house at 10 p.m. the other night to see if I could find a gift or two.
How many of us try as hard as we can only to discover we still didn’t get the right gift? To save some relationships, stores now offer a return receipt you can include with the gift, so the receiver can exchange it if they want – and many do!
What if you were offered several gifts that were already paid for, with a guarantee that the receivers would like them and have no desire to return them – and all you have to do is be willing to deliver them? Would those be the kind of gifts you would like to be giving out this Christmas season?
These are exactly the kind of gifts Jesus came into the world to offer us. God became flesh, born in a manger, grew up and lived among us, then was crucified, buried and raised to life so we can have access to the perfect gifts we can offer to others.
John 16 records Jesus talking to his disciples about his upcoming departure. They, of course, became very sad, so sad that they did not even ask where he was going. He would go on to tell them that his going was necessary for the Holy Spirit to come. The Holy Spirit would teach them all truth and guide them further on the journey of being Jesus’ disciples.
Paul tells in Galatians 5 that as followers of Jesus Christ we should walk according to the Spirit and in so doing our lives will yield the fruit of the Spirit. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Gal.5:22).
What if in this season of gift giving, rather than trying to guess what you think people may or may not like, you intentionally give the gift of the fruit of the Spirit that you already have. Who would want to reject or return such a gift?
Here are some suggestions for how you can give the gift that has already been paid for by Jesus whose birth we are celebrating this Christmas season.
Kindness — We can affirm others, encouraging their best selves to burn more brightly by being kind and gentle with them.
Patience — We can be more tolerant when things go sideways, seeking to be a non-anxious presence.
Peace — We can bring a sense of peace, calm amid the chaos, so that it summons the peace of others. Be a peacemaker.
Goodness — We can focus on the positives, seeing the good in those around us.
Generosity — We can give our full attention to each person, one at a time – even those we sometimes find most difficult to be around.
Self-control — We can commit ourselves to no outbursts, to not letting our emotions take control.
Faithfulness — We can be true to the blessed values of the Christmas season.
Joy — We can be a source of smiles, laughter, and appreciation.
Love — We can try to make sure every thought, word, and action goes through the filter of love. Just ask, “Is it loving?”
In this season of giving, I want to challenge you to invest in the lives of those around you by intentionally giving them one of the gifts you already have, and they so desperately need.
Have a Merry Christmas as you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: Christ coming as our salvation.
Emmanuel, God is with us!
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.