Open That Gift!

Christmas is here, bringing good cheer (as the song goes) and bringing the search for the perfect Christmas gifts for those we love. We ponder what meaningful, appropriate, generous gifts we might give to friends and family members, and we wonder if anyone is thinking about the right gifts for us. But God has a different concern—not giving or receiving gifts, but using them. He tells us in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

There is so much encouragement in this little verse. First, you have received a gift, and it’s not meant to be put on a shelf or stored away. Can you imagine God giving you a wrapped present that you put under your tree and never opened?  No way—the gift is meant to be unwrapped!

Next, God’s gifts are plainly wrapped and accompanied by clear instructions. How disappointing is it to give your child a much-wanted toy and then experience frustration as you fight with packaging or struggle with assembly of poorly labeled pieces? But God has all of that covered—the gifts He gives are simply for serving others, and the only instructions are to do so faithfully. Go for it—open your gift!

Lastly, God’s gifts come in different forms, so we don’t need to worry that our gifts don’t look like others’. Just as some of us prefer to receive simple, homemade gifts and others hope for flashy items from online retailers, God knows what gifts are just right for us. Tear that paper off and see what is inside!

Peter goes on to talk about speaking gifts and serving gifts, both to be used not only to bless others but to also bring God praise. When giving the gift of words, we’re exhorted to speak “as one speaking the very words of God.” When giving the gift of work, we are to do it “with the strength God provides.” And all of it is with the intent of bringing God the glory He deserves.

God gives you a gift, and it’s meant to be used. It comes simply packaged with clear instructions. The gift is unique, designed just for you. And whether it’s a speaking or serving gift, it’s meant to bring Him glory. Sisters, this Christmas, open that gift!