Some of my favorite memories from Christmas were when the kids were young and we went to Toys “R” Us (may you rest in peace) to pick out a Christmas gift for each one. It’s fun to give to others. You love to see their face light up with a smile. You love thinking and planning about what to get them. For others maybe gift-giving or gift-receiving causes anxiety and worry. When someone sends you a gift on the outside you look happy but on the inside you’re like, “Agh! Why? Now what am I going to get them?”
As I searched for a verse that lifts up home, that lifts up giving. I fell on one verse that reminded me of what Christmas and gift-giving is really all about.
John 3: 16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is probably the most famous verse in the entire Bible. It’s the first verse I can remember memorizing. It has never really struck me before as being about Christmas. This verse is about the most important gift ever given- and this verse is also about the character of the giver. The God of the Bible is a God who gives.
What will you give to God? There are only two options—the first is nothing. If you like life your way, if you prefer the gifts to the giver, it is a life that never reaches the fullness of its creation. Giving God nothing leads to being short-changed.
The second option is to give yourself to God. God wants to know you. God gave his son out of love for you. That means God wants to be in a loving relationship with you. Part of giving yourself to God is reflecting God in all that you do, iincluding how you give gifts. When we give this Christmas, root your gift-giving in relationship.