Thursday, December 5, 2013

'Tis The Season

by Tim Howard

I’ve already started to ask the question so many of us ask our family and friends in the month of December. What would you like for Christmas?

Back in 1946 – Before my birth I might add - Don Gardner wrote a humorous Christmas song titled: “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” It’s about a little girl who wanted to whistle a tune and wish people a Merry Christmas but had great difficulty because she didn’t have her two front teeth.

If you ask a child what they want for Christmas (with or without teeth) you will definitely get a lengthy answer and even adults don’t need long to think up a response. There is no shortage of ‘wants.’

Some of the things we desire are needed while others are not. A child who doesn’t know where his or her next meal is coming from wants something to eat but this is more than a mere desire – it is a need. A little one who wants another toy race car to add to his or her overflowing collection does not really need it – It’s a desire.

The Bible tells us that God gives gifts to all mankind. He not only wants to meet needs but to fulfill desires of people as well. I’m thankful for this truth because all my practical and physical needs have been provided for by God’s grace and goodness.

When a person reaches a place where his or her needs are met, the joy begins to shift from ‘receiving’ to ‘giving’. People begin to learn the truth of what the Apostle Paul said in Acts 20:35. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

A new dimension of joy comes when you “GIVE.” Don’t get me wrong, I like to receive as much as anyone but giving opens up a bigger door to fulfillment. Not just for you but others too. You can enrich the lives of people this season if you give them gifts rooted in love not duty. Gifts that are given without expectation and strings attached. Gifts that meet needs as well as desires.

The most memorable and precious gifts this season may not necessarily be material in nature. Think about giving your family, friends and even strangers the gift of compassion. It will be appreciated. Give people the gift of patience and understanding. You will be amazed at the results.

Consider giving people some space? Stop trying to micro manage their lives. They will receive this gift of kindness with open arms. Giving people forgiveness is always a welcomed gift.

Many gifts are within your power to give! If you choose to accept the words of the Apostle Paul and act upon – this season will be better than usual.

The Bible tells us that three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  They were honoring God who gave to us the greatest gift of all, A Savior!  God’s gift came to us wrapped snugly in strips of cloth and lying in a manger because there was not room for them in the inn.

May every gift you give this season, be in honor of Jesus.  After all, it is HIS BIRTHDAY we are celebrating. ‘Tis the Season!

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