As the holiday season Sale! Christmas True Story Acid Wash Unisex T-Shirt $34.99 $25.77approaches, I’ve started thinking about the process of gift-hunting. For many of us, the process is the same. First, it begins with a faint idea, perhaps a few options, for a gift to someone. We think slyly, This is the gift that will fulfill that person’s needs or desires. Or, this will make them laugh. Or, this is super generous of me, and they’ll love me for it. Once we’ve made our choice, we obtain the gift via store, Amazon, or our own craftsmanship. Finally, we stealthily wrap our gifts in a dark alley, and deliver it to the recipient on Christmas Day.
I do not have an issue with gift-hunting. That is not the purpose of this blog. But I do think that the way we choose our gifts could be better. What do I mean by this? Take a look at this verse from the New Testament. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
All to the glory of God. All. That’s a big statement. All means everything—the things you eat, the things you drink, the way you talk to people, the way you look at yourself in the mirror, the way you crack jokes, the way you work. All can even mean the gifts you give on the 25th of December.
Not that gifts fulfilling someone’s needs or wants is a bad thing, or that trying to make people laugh or love you is a crime either. But a gift has so much more worth if it is given in order to improve the recipient’s spiritual life. Imagine selecting a sweatshirt with a cross on it, for example, to remind your sister of Christ’s sacrifice. Or choosing a T-shirt with an encouraging or humbling Bible verse so that your friend remembers his calling to the kingdom of God. If you know someone who does not know God, a long-sleeved shirt that says “Christmas—True Story” could be the perfect beginning to a deep spiritual conversation that you might have put off for a long time.
Picking a gift for someone with their spiritual needs in mind. How often do we give with that intention? There’s no question that that kind of giving trumps everything else. After all, Christ didn’t come to earth to make us laugh. He didn’t die for us so that we could merely be thankful. And he didn’t rise again just to fulfill our physical needs or our shallow wants. Christ died for our sins so we could be saved, so that our spiritual state—our relationship with Him—could be restored. Nothing else really matters. As Christ-followers, our gifts to others should be modeled after His gift, just as everything else in our lives should be. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
In other words, we should give like Christ did.