Though we complain about it, we all know that Christmas is not the same without gifts. We spend just as much time whining about the trouble with gifts as we do giving gifts.
The problem with gifts is that they convey a message about both giver and recipient and we do not want to risk saying the wrong thing. Gifts can signify the giver’s economic, moral and social status in society. They convey what the giver feels and thinks about the recipient. It is no wonder that gifts have the potential to make or break a relationship.
With the weight of a relationship straining upon the giving of a single gift, many of us are left wondering, what makes the perfect gift?
Whether it is money, time or effort, it has to cost us.
It is nice to receive a gift, knowing that the giver observed and was sensitive to a need in our lives.
Nobody likes to receive a gift with strings attached.
It is difficult to find such a gift. But we know a Giver who is good at giving gifts. The very first gift He gave us met all these three requirements in the person of Jesus.
“Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 (ESV)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 (KJV)
But the trouble with gifts is that it is no good till the recipient receives it. The giver can tell you about it, but you show that you believe it by taking it and unwrapping it.
So what does it mean to receive Jesus? We give heed to the word of God. The book of Acts tells us about a group of people who heard about this gift and did something about it to get it.
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 2:37-38 (KJV)
That’s the trouble with gifts. It may be freely given but it is your choice to receive it.