I love this time of year. I love the cooler weather. (I can do without the ice!) I love getting to use my fireplace. I love the memories I have of being with my family around my fireplace during the Christmas season. I love the smells that come from our kitchen! There is so much to love about this time of year.
I think one of the things I love the most is giving gifts. I must confess my wife does most all of the work shopping for the gifts, but I enjoy watching others receive gifts. I really enjoy giving gifts anonymously. We have all heard it is better to give than to receive. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoying receiving too. But there is something else that happens when we give.
The root word in Hebrew for the word give is a palindrome. It’s spelled the same both ways: NaTaN. So, no matter which side of the give/receive equation you are on, the blessings just flow through. It goes both ways!
One of the spiritual truths about giving is that when we give something to someone or something, we are imparting some of our value to that person or thing. The more we give of our time or resources or even our love, the more value we are placing on that person or thing. The more we give, the more we value or love the object of our gift.
I think this is one of the main reasons God wants us to give of our “first fruits” not because He needs the gifts, but because we desperately need God to be in the center of our lives. By giving to Him, it helps us keep Him in the center of our hearts.
Here is a quick brain hack on dealing with people in your life you might find annoying. Yes, we all have them and if you don’t, you probably are that someone! But if you have someone in your life that is slightly tough to tolerate, try giving them small gifts. When they start to annoy you, just say a little prayer for them and ask God to bless them. With time, you will find your heart changing toward them. I dare you to try it for a couple of months and see what happens!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the greatest Gift of all!
Dr. Curtis Brown