Two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving and the stores around here already have Christmas stuff for sale. Between now and December 25, I also have two kids with birthdays. Is it little wonder that gifts are on my mind?

But the gifts I’m thinking most about are the ones God gives to us.

His presence. Salvation. Grace. Love. Forgiveness. Wisdom. Provision. Healing of our hearts and bodies. A future.

And then there are the lists of gifts given to us “for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV. See also Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11) Speaking gifts and serving gifts. Preaching and teaching. Leading and serving. Mercy and giving. Given to us, not for our personal benefit, but as a way to love others.

In fact, each time Paul or Peter lists examples of spiritual gifts in their assorted letters, they always include the reminder to love. We are one body and need each other. Just like eyes and feet are part of the same body and both have functions the other can’t perform, we each have unique gifts designed to contribute to the whole. And each is a way to show love to others.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about gifts. Figuring out where I fit in the big picture. Identifying what gifts I’ve been given. Looking for ways to bless and encourage others.

And giving myself permission to do what Paul said to the church in Rome. “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing outselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:6, The Message)

I’ve been given gifts in order to give to others. Now, to just do it.

What about you? What gifts have you been given? Are you using them to show love to others?

Gifts to Give
Tagged on: