Putting the Gifts In Front of the Giver

christmas-presents-wrappedAs I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest and most hectic seasons of the year.  With all the hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas.  It’s not about the presents or the lights or the time off of work.  It’s a celebration of the birth of our Savior, the crux of a perfect plan that was in place from the foundations of the earth.

It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism that seems to have overtaken this time of year especially when everything around us promotes greed and materialism.  This has never been more real and evident to me than this year.  If you know me, you know that I am typically a scrooge when it comes to gifts and commercial Christmas.  This year, though, I have had to try harder than ever to not get caught up in it all.

This will be my first Christmas with a child, and I found myself getting really excited to look through all the toy catalogs and all they toy aisles to find gifts for my son.  It was fun, and for the first time in a long time, I felt the excitement about Christmas that I had when I was a child. Don’t get me wrong, blessing our children and those around us is a wonderful thing.  In fact, I sometimes wonder if that excitement is a small fraction of what our Heavenly Father feels as he freely gives us the gift of His Son.  I just want to be careful not to get so caught up in the gifts that I forget to be thankful for all that God has done for me.

This Christmas I challenge you to seek the Giver instead of the gifts.  John Piper once said, “The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this:  If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?”  Are you putting the gifts before the Giver this Christmas season?  More importantly, are you seeking the gifts over the Giver in this season of your life?  If you are, I encourage you to remember your first love.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

-James

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3 thoughts on “Putting the Gifts In Front of the Giver

  1. Thanks James! This one definitely hits a chord with me. I often reminisce about Christmas during my childhood and honestly… I always felt ripped off. As if I deserved more stuff / better stuff. It’s hard for a child not to think Christmas is about them, I was no different. I realize now how immature and well… childish I was… but now I find myself wanting to spoil my kids. I suppose it’s because I never felt spoiled as a kid. My parents did what they could, and I appreciate it now… but it’s almost subconscious. I feel I have to “Do Christmas right” from a childs perspective. Fortunately, I have Angie to reel me in every now and then… and keep me focused. My girls will get gifts, but they will also get a firm knowledge of the true “giver”… Thanks again James!

  2. Wonderful reminder, James! I am often reminded {no matter what time of year it is} to keep my focus on the Creator and not the created.

  3. Ted, it is tough to find that balance, I think. I tend to be too far on the scrooge side, and that isn’t a good thing. People, especially children, need to have wonderful memories of Christmas. I certainly had those, and I want Corey and any other future Kings to have similar memories. I have to make an effort to not let all the commercialism spoil the wonderful parts of the holiday. I don’t compartmentalize things well. I am working on it, though. It seems that this blog serves as a way for me to remind myself of things that I need to work on.

    Denise, I think that we all need to be reminded of that on a regular basis.

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