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Crosswords: Gift Giving 101
Christmas is without a doubt a difficult holiday for many of us. Without mentioning the obvious, one of the most painstaking aspects is the gift shopping. And before you undertake that task a number of questions must be asked and answered.
What size do you think they wear? (That one’s dangerous). What color do you think they may want? Can we afford this? Can we combine their Christmas and birthday presents since the days fall so close together? And my favorite. Do we have to buy a gift for them since they didn’t buy us one last year?
That last question is one I’ve asked my wife on more than one occasion. Maybe I’ve been thinking about the money we could save. Or maybe, and this is probably more true, I’m angry because we - make that my wife - has spent hours and hours trying to find just the right gift for someone special who obviously doesn’t consider us as special. Because if they did, in my mind, they would have braved the malls for us.
I’ve come to a new realization just recently. While listening to a sermon 2 weeks ago I’ve realized I might have lost sight of what gift giving should really be about.
A true gift, and it doesn’t have to be purchased, is something that comes from the heart of a person. It is a testimony of what someone means to you. Not what they might do in return. A real gift comes void of any expectations. There is no quid pro quo. There are no strings attached. A real gift is free and free of any future compensation. For if you give something to someone while expecting something in return, it is no longer a gift but rather a trade.
The Bible is rife with scripture concerning the gifts God bestows upon His people. From spiritual talents to financial resources and everything in between. He requires nothing from us. He asks for nothing in return except for gratitude. He gives as He sees fit with no regard to race or gender or age or nationality. He gives because it is His desire to do so. He gives from a heart that overflows with love for His creation.
The greatest of all God’s gifts is the gift of salvation. You and I can be saved not by meeting some requirements or giving our money to the poor. Salvation is a gift free for the taking if only you ask. If we had to pay for it or earn it, it would fail to be a gift. That’s why the Apostle Paul described God’s gift of grace as”indescribable” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

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