Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year! A time filled with breaks from school, parties, shopping, pictures with Santa Claus, decorating the tree, hanging the stockings, family get-togethers, huge meals, cookies, and opening gifts. As children, we dream constantly about all the gifts we want and hope to get. As adults, we strive for finding the perfect gifts for everyone on our lists and the anticipation of watching the happy reactions of our loved ones and friends as the gifts are opened. What a wonderful time indeed!
The True Gift
The wonder of this holiday season and the gifts we give and receive can be so overwhelming that we often lose sight of the real reason for the season. God gave us the true gift of Christmas when He placed His love for all of us in the form of a baby named Jesus. “And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
Our Gift to God
God came down to earth as a baby to ultimately show us how to love one another and to be in communion with Him. So what can we give God in return? I don’t think He’s looking for more gold, frankincense, or myrrh. It’s actually much simpler than that. We can give gifts back to God everyday by the way we live! When we choose to treat each other with kindness, mercy, grace, compassion, and love, God receives an incredible gift. That is what our Father would want more than anything and He gives us a way to do that in His word. It costs us nothing but our time and action. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
In The Journey Training, we teach a simple tool for following God’s word. We call it “Giving Gifts”. Gifts are all positive words used to affirm the best things about another person. All you have to do is go to the person you want to give the gifts to, look them in the eyes, and say “The gifts I see in you are…” If I were doing this with my beautiful wife, Lisa, it might sound something like this: “Lisa, the gifts I see in you are unconditional love, patience, courage, a sweet, sweet spirit, a great mom, and captivating beauty.” That’s really all there is to it! You can do this with anyone at any time. You will make the other person feel better about themselves and you will feel better about yourself. It can completely change the dynamics of the relationships in your life and even change you!
I encourage you to try using this tool with your family and friends throughout this holiday season. You really have nothing to lose by trying, but you have everything to gain. The person receiving your gifts might just cherish your words more than any gift you could buy. Life is short and it is precious! How we live is our gift to God.