“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.” ~ James 1:17a (NLT)
Part of the Christmas festivities at my office this week was a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. One of my co-workers received a cute homemade gift from her “Secret Santa,” and loudly expressed her dissatisfaction with the gift. Even worse, she went on to make a joke out of it, recruiting our co-workers to join in her ungrateful exploit.
The co-worker who made the gift is a kind soul with a heart of gold. She was clearly devastated by the reaction that her gift received. The recipient took what was a festive, happy occasion, and with her mean-spirited reaction, turned it into something hurtful.
It made me pause and wonder how often we hurt God by our reactions to the gifts He has given us.
God “gifts” us in many ways. Some gifts are of a grand nature, and others, more simply stated, but every good and perfect gift comes from God. In the same way that my co-worker’s feelings were hurt, I think that we, too, offend God when we don’t appreciate His gifts.
It always amazes me to watch little children open a gift. When my son, Eric, was a little boy, he would rip open his packages on Christmas morning, then quickly put the gift aside and play with the shiny wrapping paper or the box! When it comes to the gifts that God gives us, sadly, we often do the same thing.
We are more grateful for the material things that money buys us, than we are for the job that God has given us. Our self-worth comes from our successes and promotions, rather than from knowing who we are in Christ Jesus.
Unlike “Secret Santa” at our office luncheon, it is never a secret to me who provides every good gift in my life. Those blessings may come through other people, but the source of all of them, is Christ Jesus.
God gave us the greatest gift of all when He left heaven and came to earth to save us. The King of Kings humbled Himself and traded His Throne for a lowly manger. May we take time this Christmas Day to pause and remember the true reason we celebrate- the birth of our Savior.
May we look with awe and gratitude every day at the beauty of this earth, the people in our lives and the provisions that we have.
This Christmas Day let us be thankful for those gifts that we often take for granted. Most importantly, let us give praise and glory to the Gift Giver, who is always worthy of our gratitude.
May we worship Him with thanksgiving not just during the Christmas season, but every day.