What my mother taught me about giving gifts
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 John 4:6 (NIV)
My mother gave me a great gift and that is sensitivity about giving gifts. She taught me giving a gift is an opportunity to show you’ve thought about the person, taking time to discover likes and needs.
What this translates into is you don’t use a birthday to give a household item you were going to purchase anyway: “Gee, honey, thanks for the vacuum cleaner.” Or, you don’t give your eighty-year-old aunt a power drill (unless that’s what she really wants!). The fact that there are so many returns after Christmas and so many gift cards purchased (okay, I buy them too) shows we’re not taking the time to make gifts personal.
Here’s the thing: just like gifts, love operates as personal. Jesus came in person. He didn’t come to us as a religion, a set of laws, or merely as an ideal; he came in person. Through his death and resurrection he brings us into the personal embrace of a passionate and loving relationship.
We live in an increasingly impersonal world where “don’t call us until you’ve read through all the frequently asked questions” is the norm, and when we finally do call, we get a recorded voice. We live as if somehow better organization, perfect efficiency, and instant acquisition will deliver us from our meaninglessness and hopelessness.
Yet, we are from God, the Creator and Protector of all that is personal. Through our personalized expression of love for each other we proclaim: “Do you want to see who the person of God is and how he personally loves us? Watch how we love one another.”
Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer
Best Christian book this year!! – I don’t usually write reviews but this book is so exceptional that I just have to share my thoughts. Jon Walker has managed to share his real life struggles and apply them to the biblical words and understanding of Bonhoeffer. The way he weaves the words of his own story of brokenness with the words of salvation from Jesus Christ teaches us all where our true treasure resides. Mr. Walker shares how he lost his family, financial ruin, and all the while battled mental health demons as he hit bottom. In between anecdotes he gives us Bonhoeffers biblical guidance to inch closer to God, to focus on God, and make God the center of his life. I am buying this book for many of the people I care about for Christmas this year. By jc via Amazon. (Thanks jc!)
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.