I love that God created us in His image. I love that because of His design for us, we get to see glimpses of His heart in so many parts of our lives, and we get to know Him better through them. As we know Him better, we learn how to draw nearer to Him, and as Christians, that’s our ultimate goal.
Take motherhood for example. You don’t know how much or how unconditionally you can love something until you have a child. Suddenly, the definition of love changes and you see God a little more clearly. You see the sacrifice of His Son more vividly, and you suddenly begin to understand why that’s how He chose to deliver salvation. Because it’s a sacrifice that you can’t imagine making for ungrateful and unworthy people. But He made it for you.
Doesn’t that window into His heart for you just make you stand in awe?
As Christmas approaches, I find myself giddy with glee as I shop for gifts. I love giving gifts! I love the feeling I get when I find just the right present for someone I love. So much so, that I sometimes even make my husband open his gifts early because I get so excited. Giving gifts is definitely one of my love languages.
It got me thinking, though, about how it isn’t an accident that gifts are a human love language. After all, isn’t giving also one of God’s love languages?
Gift-giving as a part of Christmas is definitely a human institution. In fact, the whole holiday is a human institution, since most scholars believe that biblical evidence points to Jesus being born in September. Some people think those are reasons to shy away from gifts and celebration this time of year. But I think it makes for an amazing opportunity to peek into our good and loving Father’s experience toward us.' In the new year, with many resolutions and 'words of the year,' let one of them be gratitude. 'Click To Tweet
He is the ultimate gift giver. He gives us the gift of salvation, spiritual gifts, and blessings for our provision and safety — the list goes on and on, beyond our awareness. And He doesn’t just slap a bow on any old blessing or any old sacrifice. He thoughtfully provides for us and delivered salvation to us in an incredibly intricate and beautiful way.
So, what if as we give gifts here on earth, in our own tiny and inadequate human way, we get a glimpse of the joy God experiences when He gives to us? In this season of giving, He reveals Himself a little more to us, and we can use this peek into His heart and draw nearer to Him. Which begs the question: can you imagine someone giving you a special and thoughtful gift and taking it from them without even acknowledging the giver? Of course not! Even when we get bad gifts at Christmas, we feel compelled to thank someone for them. We don’t give gifts with the sole goal of receiving gratitude, but as receivers of gifts, we offer it because it honors the giver and the gift.
Sadly, I don’t always feel the same compulsion to offer gratitude and honor to God (and I don’t think I am alone in that). And as we see Him in this new light, as a joyful and thoughtful gift-giver from whom we thanklessly take gift after gift, we can begin to imagine His disappointment in our ingratitude. We begin to see how dishonoring our thoughtlessness in failing to offer Him thanks in all circumstances truly is. And that’s a convicting vision.
So, as you give gifts this year, consider the joy you feel when your child’s face lights up. Consider it and then remember the ultimate gift that we celebrate receiving this time of year — salvation — and don’t forget to show God your gratitude. His gifts are far more worthy of our diligence in offering thanks than those that are under our trees.
And as we walk into a new year, which will inevitably prompt many resolutions and “words of the year,” let one of them be gratitude. Let one of them be thanksgiving in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) for the provisions and blessings and salvation lavished upon us by a Father who gives to us joyfully. Endlessly. Whether we are worthy or thankful or not.