Christmas Gift Aftermath: Return It, Ignore It, or Use It?
A devotional about using your strengths
The magi gave gifts to Jesus on the first Christmas. That simple act launched a beautiful tradition. We exchange presents with family and friends at Christmastime.
We also receive the greatest gift of all given by God in the form of His Son. But in the midst of the holiday hub bub, it can be easy to forget another very individualized package God gives to each of us: the gift of our personal strengths.
The Gift of Your Personal Strengths
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-18 we read that although the body is one unit, it is made up of many parts. Each part is specially-equipped to perform a vital function. Each part adds value to the body because they all work together.
In the same way, God has specially-equipped each of us with strengths. Your strengths are your unique and habitual patterns of behavior, thoughts, emotions, and communication. Strengths add value to the world in which you have been placed. When combined with others in your family, your work, and your community, you complete the whole.
Your strengths are God’s gift to you. Ephesians 4:7 says, “To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” (NIV). God gives each of us a special combination of strengths. No one has the same grouping of strengths that you possess. Your strength set is truly a one-of-a-kind gift.
Return It, Ignore It, or Use It
What will you do with this gift? You have a few choices.
Return it. Retailers say an estimated 10-15% of all Christmas gifts will be returned. The sweater doesn’t fit … the tablet didn’t have the right features … the video game already installed on the computer … stores are jammed on the day after Christmas with shoppers taking back gifts and getting cash or “something better.” You have the option of returning God’s gift of strengths by saying, “I don’t want this. I want something different.”
Ignore it. Another estimated 10% of Christmas presents are “dead-end” gifts, meaning they have little to no value to the recipient or will not be used (think about your uncle’s collection of ties hanging in the closet.) You can choose to ignore God’s gift of strengths.
Use it. You know the feeling of excitement when a loved one opens a gift – one you’ve longed to give them – and reacts with pure joy. Maybe it’s just what they wanted. Maybe it’s a welcome surprise. When a gift is embraced, loved, and used, then it may be hard to tell who gets the most pleasure: the giver or receiver.
If we receive that much delight in giving gifts that are appreciated and put to use, imagine how God must feel when we receive and use the strengths He gives us.
God has given you a special gift in the strengths He has apportioned to you. It could be tempting to want to exchange your strengths for others you admire more. You might wish to ignore your strengths as a “dead-end” gift and never use them.
But one of the very best ways you can worship our Lord at Christmas is to receive the gift of strengths He gives you … and use it.
More Devotionals from Ministry Insights
Devotional: Focus on the As, Not the Fs
Devotional: Beat Stress With Your Strengths
Devotional: Can You Rewire Your Brain’s Default Setting?
Devotional: Is Your Eyesight Fuzzy or Clear?
Devotional: Pen in Hand: Embracing Your Strengths
Devotional: Individuality or Conformity – Must You Choose?
Devotional: How to Avoid “The Unimportance Trap”