Holiday season is upon us and we’re looking in stores, scrolling through the internet and asking loved ones for lists. We all want to get the “perfect gift” for our loved ones. This is definitely with good intentions. But how many know that this time next year, they may not even remember what the gift was? That’s certainly a possibility. We, as people, want to make dreams come true. That’s admirable but it’s just not a reality in the world we live in. I don’t mean to sound like a downer but expectations just cannot be met through material items. They get old. They break. They create newer and better ones. It’s just facts. The best gifts we can give our friends and family members are not “things”.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.” (James 1:17 NLT) The Lord gives us gifts that never expire, always fit the occasion and are truly what we want and need. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT). These are gifts that can’t be delivered by the Amazon truck. These are the character traits that will change your home life, workplace and ultimately the world if we operate in them. It costs you absolutely nothing to give a heartfelt kind word to someone, yet it means the world to them. Having self-control in your home when things are chaotic can de-escalate a possible explosive argument. Being patient with someone at work who’s just not “getting it” can create a bond of trust between you and that person. Good things only produce more good things. Isn’t this an environment we could help create by just using what God has provided?
Sometimes it’s very hard to take the high road. We are all too human dealing with other flawed humans. But God is asking His children to make decisions based on how Jesus would. Can we be perfect? No! We know that’s why Jesus came to begin with. But can we try to present to this world a better and different way of doing things? Yes we can! It’s all about choices. Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15 NLT) What exactly are the commandments He’s asking of us? “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NLT) If we are doing this, with God’s grace of course, life for everyone around us will be better. This would be the best gift we could give our loved ones this Christmas season. The Spanish suffix “mas” means “more”. We can look at the word “Christmas” and think more of Christ and less of me. This is what our starving world needs.
So, make your gift lists. Buy your family a sweet surprise that they will love. But remember to create a better environment by operating in the goodness God has gifted us with. This simple act will make for the best holiday season ever. People need to feel valued. Kind words go a long way. Gentle answers are appreciated and well received. God’s goodness to mankind is the best gift.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.