Friday, December 21, 2012

The Seventh and Eighth Days of Christmas: The Deal with gift-giving

Sorry about not posting yesterday.... Things just get so busy, especially around Christmas. Why? good question. Maybe it's because we spend so much time making, buying, sending, and giving gifts for others.

Or so we think.

Maybe the last part of that isn't exactly true. Maybe we're not doing it out of the spirit of giving.

Maybe we're actually doing it out of the spirit of selfishness.

You may be thinking I'm nuts. How is it selfish to sacrifice tons of time out of my life to get these great gifts and cards ready for all these people? How is it selfish? It's all but selfish! It's considerate!

And maybe you are being considerate! However, many times, I find myself in that yucky mode of selfishness, even during Christmas-time. And, honestly, I think others struggle with it, too. 

When we get so caught up in making the gifts and cards perfect, many times we are not focusing on the details for the good of the other person, but we want to receive credit for doing "such a good job." Sometimes we focus on what others will think of us when they open the gift, not the happiness they might receive when they recognize that we have put time, effort, and thought into their gift.

It's not wrong to put nice detail into a gift; that's great! What's wrong is when our focus shifts.

Our focus should always be on Christ; when our focus is on Christ,we will bear fruit.  I already posted on bearing fruit this Christmas, and on e of the fruits of the Spirit is kindness. I think that includes giving gifts. But we must remember Hosea 10:1. Israel chose the wrong option, and bore fruit to herself. Her focus shifted from God to herself, and therefore she bore fruit to herself. We have to be careful to not let this be our motive.

So happy gift-giving! And, keep guard against selfish motives.

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