Giving Christmas Gifts In Turbulent Relationships

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"Must I?"

It's Christmas time. We all have our list of people to give gifts to. Relationships between people don't always roll smoothly. Sometimes feelings are injured and relationships become distant. We ALL have those who seem to find their way onto our list that makes us frown and think "Must I?"

Here's my thought: Love doesn't always flow both ways.

Let' face it, in most relationships, sometimes love doesn't flow FROM us, and sometimes love doesn't flow TO us.

The FIRST Gift

As I face this "Must I?" situation, I am reminded that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, to come to earth, and die for those in that world. Did the world (aka we, who inhabit this old world that God loved so much) love Him?
Which brings me to my next thought; The REAL reason we give gifts during this Christmas season. Do we give as a response of how a person has treated us? Or do we give as an act of love, in remembrance of that FIRST Christmas gift (Christ).

I have a framed sticky note that sits on my desk. It's been on my desk for the last two decades. On the sticky note is written

"People need love the most when they deserve it the least!!"

When God sent His son to earth to die for our sins, God did so without regard of whether we loved Him back or not. He did it anyway and gave each of us a choice to appreciate his gift and love Him back or... not.

I Choose

So, this year, as I complete my gifts to those on my Christmas list, I choose to overlook and ignore hurt feelings, relationship distance and the frustrations that come with imperfect people (namely myself) and imperfect relationships.

I choose to give gifts filled with love and without expectations.
I choose to acknowledge this is GIFT GIVING season, NOT a bartering season.
I choose to give gifts in remembrance of that FIRST Christmas gift and do my best to have a heart as full of love just as the one who gave that first gift had in His Heart for me.

This perplexing thought has been rumbling around inside of me for days and so, now I'm putting it in writing for my own purpose. I'm sharing it here as my personal challenge to each one of you to search your hearts for the reason YOU give during this holiday season.

Personally, as I acknowledge the reason for my giving each gift on my list this year, I find myself filled with much more JOY and enthusiasm than I did when I first made my Christmas List. How wonderful to realize that the reason for giving gifts in the first place is an expression of our love just as God loved us. Realizing that the First gift was given without the recipient's input, acceptance, or appreciation puts so much into perspective for me today.

Realizing that the First gift was given without the recipient's input, acceptance, or appreciation puts so much into perspective.
Realizing that the First gift was given without the recipient's input, acceptance, or appreciation puts so much into perspective.

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