What can I give Him? Boy that’s a big question this time of year. Actually, it’s more like what can I give everyone on my list?!? The Christmas season is definitely one of my favorites. The colder air, possibility of snow, cozy fireplace, hot coffee, silly family time with babies that have gotten too big, too quick and of course the gift giving. Christmas morning around our house is truly magical. For just a few hours all is calm; and everyone is full of anticipation for the surprises that lie under the tree. I’m excited just thinking about it!! Yet with the wonder of the season there is still the reality of brokenness, unmet expectations, disappointments and sin. Those same relationships and situations that bring so much joy into our lives often bring anxiety, stress, and sometimes conflict.
So, what can I give Him? Well, the most natural question when seeking to find the perfect gift is “what would He want”? He has my heart but where does the real battle lie in my relationships? What area of my life does He desire my submission in order to transform? For me the greatest contributor to conflict in relationships are my words or lack thereof.
Many thoughts crowd my mind when I think about what God would want from me this Christmas. Again, He has my heart as He likely has yours, but I know there is more to give, and I keep coming back to my words. Honestly though, words are hard to GIVE (up) because words are powerful! Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. My words give me a sense of power and I’m often unwilling to release my hold of that powerful tool especially when feeling unloved or wounded. But words also have the power of life and that is where I want to be – a life-giving wife, a life-giving mom, a life-giving daughter, friend, sister-in-law, teacher, woman.
Allow me to share a paraphrase from a sermon by a pastor at Watermark Church in Texas as he seeks to shed light on the subject. He explained the key to better relationships in this way . . . as oil is the necessary ingredient to keeping a car’s engine free of friction so there is an ingredient that is vital to friction-free relationships leading to unity. That ingredient is HUMILITY. When I consider the power of words, to bring life or death, it’s imperative to consider where my words of death come from. James 4:1 states “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you.” My words have a direct link to my pride.
Generally, our defense in responding to others is controlled by our pride; consequently, humility is the only answer to this word problem we all face. Humility is expressed best in Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look our not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” If the answer to this word problem is humility - than the gift giving struggle just got easier. What can I give Him? My pride. But I like my pride – well I don’t like its fruit, but I like its power to seemingly give me justification. But what would a loving God do with such a gift as my pride? I believe He has the power and desire to change my pride into the kind of humility that will produce an out-pouring of life-giving words. I would argue there’s no greater gift I could give my family this Christmas. What can I give Him? What will you give Him?