Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Perfect Gift?

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
By all accounts, for parents, this is a challenging time of year.  My wife’s daughter, (our youngest, but in this context clearly, my WIFE’s daughter) has assembled her Christmas list.  It’s really a work of art; neatly typed, double spaced, well-organized (ok, maybe she is mine too!).  There’s only one problem, we can’t afford a single thing on the list!

This used to be so easy.  They were little, toys were cheaper, we’d just buy them a bunch of stuff and they were happy.  It was as much fun to unwrap the gift as it was to actually take possession of whatever was inside the box.  Sometimes, the box was more fun than the gift!  But things are different now; they are older and have more complex understanding of the season.  They watch television.  Their friends have certain expectations, and those get projected onto us.  On top of all that, the stuff they want is just so darned expensive!  How did we get here???

Well, laying aside the obvious discussion we could have about materialism and how it relates to the modern child, there is a deeper principle here.  That being, we struggle with this because we really do want to bless our children.  Right?  I mean, whose heart isn’t torn out at the thought of a family going without at Christmas?  We hear the stories every year of tragedy striking right as we enter into the most joyous time of the year.  For every one of these tragic stories, we hear of the equally heroic response to the need.  We’re motivated to help people this time of year.  It’s how we’re wired, and this projects itself into the way in which we wrestle with how to bless our kids at Christmas.

The tension is real.  There are limited resources like time, money, and patience.  There are endless needs (and wants).  And yet, we want to give our kids good things.  How do we reconcile this?  It is difficult for sure, as all parents know.

Interestingly, God never struggles over what gifts to give us.  Luke 11:13 draws the perfect contrast.  We, in our fallen state, still know how to bless our kids with good things.  Fittingly, God in his glorious state knows very well how to bless us by sending His Holy Spirit.

As you go about your Christmas shopping this season, whether it is a little or a lot, take some time to remember how the Lord has shared His glory with you.  Thank Him for the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives.  If you’ll take a minute to do that, He might just help you with that shopping list too!

Scripture to Remember:
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
 Hebrews 12:28-29

(Submitted By Keith Warren)

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