What Can You Afford to Give This Year?
December 16, 2021
It is that time of year again when people are shopping for gifts for people in their lives. Amazon and other delivery trucks pull up to houses thousands of times a day. The mall and store parking lots are full.
I shared with my gang this thought, “What you really want or need I can’t afford. What I can afford you really don’t want or need.” Maybe you sense the same thing. So what is a person supposed to do?
It seems to me the wisest thing to do is concentrate on giving the things money can’t buy. This doesn’t mean it won’t cost you anything—the fact of the matter is, it’s always less costly to give something material than gifts of the heart. But I want to give something that matters, and these are the things coming to my mind. Perhaps they will help you too.
The Gift of Forgiveness. Who is it that you have been unwilling to forgive? You have been withholding forgiveness, and you feel justified because they really hurt you. But you know Jesus said forgiveness is essential. Is it Mom? Dad? Sibling? Co-worker? Pastor? Coach? Boss? Husband? Wife? Ex? Neighbor? Whoever it is, your 2022 and theirs could both change significantly if you gave forgiveness for Christmas.
The Gift of Affection. Everyone needs it. It’s hard to ever get too much. You might think, “I am not comfortable in doing this—I didn’t grow up in a home where they hugged, kissed, or were the touchy-feely type. That’s okay. You can learn something new. You may say, “They know I love them.” Knowing you are loved if it is never felt is not helpful. The people in your life need to feel your love.
The Gift of Attention. One of the greatest gifts you can give others is listening to them. When you look at children, on their level, you’re saying, “You matter to me. You’re important to me. I want to hear what you have to say.” In doing this, you show compassion. Guess what? It says the same things to adults, and adults need it too. Some people in your world would be absolutely thrilled with your heartfelt attention.
The Gift of Encouragement. Everyone you know is surrounded by negativity. They hear far more about what is wrong than what is right. You will be a memorable gift to their world if you are the one who makes sure they hear a positive word and know you believe in them.
The Gift of Time. Make a commitment to invest time with the people you love and care about. Give your spouse the gift of at least twelve date nights for 2022. Do the same with your children if you have them. Extended family and friends will be blessed if you commit to connect with one another on a regular basis.
The Gift of Belief. Who needs to know that you believe in them? Let them know it with the words you say. Make it really stick with a note that assures them of your constant faith in them. Let them know you believe they have what it takes, and you are proud to be connected with them.
The Gift of Prayer. Lifting them to Jesus with specific needs, and occasionally letting them know they are the target of your prayers, is priceless.
And nothing will be worth more than becoming the best version of yourself. Make and keep commitments to become a healthier you: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The healthier you are, the healthier your relationships will be, and the longer you will have to be together.
I believe that if you choose to give these gifts, it just might be the best Christmas they have ever had, and for sure it will be the best you have ever experienced.