Christmas is the time of year when everyone gets asked, “What do you want for Christmas?”. Some of you are organized and have a list; others just try to think of a few options on the spot. Either way, we ask the question because we want to give people what they want for Christmas. Right? Well there is one gift that will hit the mark every time. In fact, it’s the #1 Christmas gift everyone wants…what is it?…
Simply stated, everyone wants the gift of love. Everyone wants to feel loved and cared for by someone. It is the universal gift that will always be a hit. God set it up that way!
But what does that look like when it comes to putting something under the Christmas tree? How is love given in a tangible, practical, shopping, wrapping gift sort of way? I’m glad you asked.
Here are a couple of tips on how it works…
Put Yourself in The Other Person’s Shoes
Phil 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Loving others will always require a bit of self-sacrifice. There is just no way around it. It requires that you get outside of yourself and step into the other person’s shoes. It means you take the time to think about them, consider what they like, what brings them joy, or what makes them happy. When it comes to gift giving, there can be a temptation to check the box and just get it done. We can even get frustrated with someone who can’t tell us what they want. This is because we want the fast and easy way out.
But loving others requires taking time to care about others even if it means a little more work. Let’s face it, the most meaningful gifts are personal gifts. It speaks to being loved and cared for. This of course doesn’t happen by accident but requires you to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
1 Timothy 6:18 – They (i.e., Christians) are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
Scripture is very clear that Christians are to be generous people because it reflects the heart of God. It fact, this is what Christmas is all about, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son” (John 3:16). At Christmas, we celebrate God’s love reflected through the sacrificial gift of His son Jesus. God’s love for you and me is so generous that Jesus came to die on a cross so we could be forgiven and have the promise of eternal life.
Christians are also called to reflect this same generous love toward others. So when it comes to buying Christmas gifts, reflect the heart of God and be generous! Don’t be cheap or a penny pincher but instead spend a little extra even if it stings. Remember love requires some self-sacrifice, so when we feel the pinch, it is often a test in our ability to love. Being a generous giver is a practical application of love and will often reveal the true condition of our hearts (see my blog “Does God Want Your Money?”).
So as you hit the stores and shop for family and friends this Christmas, be sure to include the #1 gift that it always a hit…. Love!
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