Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gift that No One Wants

by Andrew Cromwell

As we enter the Christmas season much of our attention is focused on the gifts we will be giving to friends and family. Whether you are the type of person that wakes at an ungodly hour to crash the stores on the day after Thanksgiving or the person that waits until the last minute to fight for parking spaces and wait in line, all of us want to match up the right gift to the right person.

And each year we both give and receive a myriad of novelty gifts — the tie that blinks and sings, the chachki that was oh so carefully selected in the dollar aisle, the dreaded and much lampooned fruitcake. No one wants these gifts. And yet we continue to give them because we feel obligated to go through the ritual even if the gifts have long ago ceased to be significant.

Do something different this year! Break the mold, save money, and instead write a card or a note. Take that five or ten dollars and give it to charity in the name of that person who would normally get a junk gift. Our church has helped people do this for the last couple of years and we have discovered that people LOVE to receive these types of gifts. You can find out more info on what we are doing this year at our website at

There is one gift that no one wants, but we all need. This is a gift that communicates true love and concern but is one of the most difficult to give. It costs no money. It involves no trips to the mall. You don’t even have to wrestle with the scotch tape and wrapping paper.

It is the gift of honest conversation.

For a close friend or loved family member, an honest conversation can be the most difficult and yet the most rewarding gift that you can give. The truth is, honest conversations are uncomfortable. They usually involve talking about things that we would rather not bring up. It might involve talking about the person’s bad behavior or their inability to see the way their actions are damaging to others. It might mean telling a spouse the way you really feel and revealing a part of your heart that hasn’t been shared in a long time. For all of these reasons and more, honest conversations are usually avoided at all costs.

And yet, when we avoid having honest conversations with the people we love, we actually keep our relationships from growing deeper and more significant. We avoid talking straight with people because we are afraid of hurting their feelings and damaging our relationship with them. But when we do that we actually refuse to believe that a deeper relationship is possible.

What we forget is that honest conversations are the key to growth. We need each other to speak truth so that we can get better. The question is, do we love someone enough to tell them the truth? I believe if we all took time to have some serious conversations this Christmas, we might actually learn something and grow deeper.

The pastors in Kings County would love to get a chance to help you have an honest conversation with Father God. When is the last time you two talked? Grab your family and get in church this weekend, there’s no better time than the present.

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