Gettin’ Ready for Christmas

Some people are just hard when it comes to buying them a gift!

That’s the truth, and you know it. We’ve all got at least one person on our list that we’d like to bless, and it’s nearly impossible to buy them the perfect gift.

But, maybe your budget is super tight this season. The gift list is super small, and you’re looking for some creative and free ways to bless others.

Free is a good word that most of us like. Jesus says, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

In the spirit of gettin’ ready for Christmas, let me freely give you 5 suggestions for gifts that don’t have to be wrapped, bagged, or tagged.

1. Christ-followers should plan to give love.

Sampling from 1st Corinthians 13 (NIV & NKJV), we learn that “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love rejoices in the truth.” God’s big three, designed to take us from here to Heaven, are “faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” That’s the higher love I keep thinking of. Everyone on your gift list needs this. By God’s grace and with the Holy Spirit’s help, plan to bestow this gift upon our friends, relatives, and unsaved acquaintances.

2. Christ-followers should plan to give kindness.

The older I get, the more I see that what makes life beautiful are the many small kindnesses we give to one another. Ephesians 4:32 says we should “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (NKJV). Since kindness is love in action, you should think about giving an act of service. The greatest act of kindness you could give anyone is simply forgiving them. Come up with a plan to be kind to those you truly love.

3. Christ-followers should plan to give understanding.

Deliberately put forth the mental effort to walk in the other person’s shoes, or wear the other person’s coat. This is a mental exercise, not a physical one. I’m not suggesting you steal anyone’s shoes or coat. But maybe before you judge someone, you could put forth a prayerful and thoughtful effort to understand their problems and difficulties. This will lead to the fulfillment of Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (NKJV).

4. Christ-followers should plan to give praise.

Commendation, when commendation is due, will lighten the other person’s load. Your expression of praise will serve as a bugle call to the other person’s drooping spirit. According to Ephesians 4:29, the words that come out of our mouths should be wholesome words that edify, “building others up according to their needs” (NIV). We should look for ways to give the gift of praise and cheer to one another.

5. Christ-followers should plan to give encouragement.

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we should “encourage one another…” (NIV). Do you know what no one needs this Christmas? DIScouragement. To discourage someone is to take courage away from them. Everyone needs encouragement, and everyone can give it. To encourage someone is to inspire courage in them. Look for ways to help your friends believe they can _________. You fill in the blank for that person and mean it!

The greatest thing about these gifts is that it doesn’t matter if you regift them. You can regift them as often as you want, and nobody is going to get offended about it. As a matter of fact, they will be blessed by your generosity.

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