Gifts

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By Rick Moore

Buying presents for others is easier when you know what they like to collect. When someone asks me what they can buy for my mom, I let them know she collects teapots, which makes selecting a gift for her simple. My dad used to collect rare and expensive coins. My father-in-law collected fishing lures. My younger sister owns a large selection of rare baseball cards. My brother-in-law frequents yard sales and flea markets looking for decorative cigar boxes. My wife has assembled a number of antique plates through the years. My children used to collect Beanie Babies. I tried collecting stamps for awhile, but my collection seems to have been lost during one of our many moves.

Some people have enough wealth to collect rare automobiles, famous pieces of art, and precious jewels. Yet, there are collectables more precious than diamonds and more costly than gold. The great news is absolutely anyone can collect these gifts I am referring to. What is in this collection of gifts? Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. People who begin collecting these gift items discover they enjoy it so much they always want more.

You might be thinking only God can give a person such priceless gifts. But what about gifts you can give? If you are uncertain what you can give to others this Christmas, here is a list of suggestions for your consideration:

To your enemy:
give forgiveness

To an opponent:
give tolerance

To a friend:
give your heart

To a customer :
give service

To all men:
give charity

To every child:
give a good example

To yourself:
give respect

As a child I traded baseball cards with other kids in my neighborhood. Trading was fun. Sometimes I would have two identical cards while my neighbor needed one of mine. What did we do? They gave me a card I didn’t have and I gave them a card they didn’t have. It is funny how we forget to trade when we get older. I give you a smile, you give me a smile. I let you out in traffic, you let me out in traffic. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, we forget that letting someone out in traffic may make them happier than any gift card they will ever receive.

If you are still planning your Christmas gift list, here is some advice from John Wesley from many years ago:

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

There is one last collection to consider. Take time to collect your thoughts. Reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, 2020 and 2021 have been tough years. It was also a very tough year in which a little baby was born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph had to travel a hundred miles the old fashion way just to pay taxes. Then she gave birth to her first child in a stinky barn. It is true that wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But those gifts can not compare to the greatest gift of all, which was, and will always be, the “Gift” that was wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Merry Christmas!

Rick Moore is Pastor of Communications at Destiny Worship Center.