Gift giving is a wonderful aspect of Christmas. We love to give surprises. We love to give something that a family member will enjoy or need. We love the smile on their faces at they tear into the gift. Typically at Christmas, we see this concept of balance take place. You give me a gift, I'll return the favor. We even go to great lengths to make sure we're not in a situation where someone gives us a gift and we have nothing ready to give back. I know someone who always has gift cards on the ready just in case someone brings a surprise gift that they weren't expecting to receive. If it happens, they simply go to their stash, pull out a card and have it ready to go for them.
Let's be honest—at Christmas we long for there to be balance when it comes to gift giving. We don't like it when someone gives us a gift and we don't have anything for them. Otherwise it will feel like we owe them something.
Christmas deals with this idea of balance. At Christmas we see that God threw out the scales. He didn't seek balance in what he gave. In fact, there's no scale on which you could place God's gift to us. God gave everything, we gave nothing. He didn't want it to be even first. God didn't measure the scales and then decide to give. Rather, he gave his Son without blinking—without any reservation or second guessing. God gave us his very best and refused to let our actions determine his action.
We're told in John 3:16, "God so loved the world that he gave his Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life."
God loved, so God gave for everyone.
Our response to this generous act of God? It's not to get him a gift—remember there's no scale. You couldn't afford it anyway. Rather, our response ought to be to love as God loved. To love in such a way that the scales are thrown out. To love people without reserve, or without expecting the favor to be returned.
Who is difficult for you to love? In other words, who do you find challenging to love because they rarely (if ever) pay back your love? You could be like everyone else—measured, balanced, and transactional— or you could be more like God, who throw away the need for balance. What if this Christmas you said, "I'm going to love them no matter how they respond." Even if nothing in them changed, at the very least, it may just be you.
Have a blessed week!
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Notes from the Staff @The Woods