Monday, December 1, 2014
Giving Good Gifts
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
I remember the look on the children’s faces, thrilled more by a new coat than a doll, excited by the food in the box more than the presents in brightly colored Christmas wrap. Our youth group was delivering gifts to needy families, but I had never known real need.
My friends and I crowded into the seat of my father’s pick-up, filled with boxes of gifts, food, clothing, toys, candy, all the things associated with Christmas. I had never been to the part of town where we went that day, but I remember the expressions on the faces of the people we visited.
What I saw on that cold, windy Saturday in December has remained with me through the years. I saw the face of real need, the expressions of delight over necessities rather than frivolities, the embarrassed thankfulness of those who must rely on the charity of others.
My father greeted each family with genuine respect, allowing them dignity in receiving what we offered. He accepted their thanks graciously, but without being condescending. He played with the children and left everyone with a smile.
I’m not much of a shopper, but I love to shop for those I don’t know, those who would have nothing for their children were it not for the kindness and generosity of strangers. I love filling a shopping cart with things that will put a smile on the face of a child, and along with it, giving them the message of the best and greatest gift ever given—the gift of the Christ Child.
Each year I try to examine my giving? Do I care more about giving something which outdoes everyone else, or do I give with an attitude of humility, recognizing God as the giver of every gift, including my ability to give to others?
Involve your family in showing kindness to strangers this Christmas. We all are of equal need before God. He doesn’t need anything from us, but we are dependent on Him for everything. There is no greater gift than the gifts which point not to ourselves as the giver, but to Christ as the giver of every good and perfect gift—life, both physical and eternal.
Ask God to reveal your need. Acknowledge His gift of salvation, and then be His hands in a hurting world.
© Copyright November 29, 2012 & October 11, 2014 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
About the author:
Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.
You connect with Norma at:
Land of My Dreams is available at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864 ?ean=9781941103173