We all know Christmas time as the season of giving, and rightly so. We give gifts to friends and family because Christ gave the greatest gift ever. His sacrifice makes it possible for us all to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father.
I don’t know how many of us are thinking about Christ’s glorious gift when we gift that awful looking tie to a father, those bunny slippers to a mother, or that special toy to a child. But not all gifts of value come wrapped in paper and ribbon. Many of these gifts are more worthy of reminding us of the real reason why we give gifts this season.
The best part is that we all have those sorts of gifts to give. The worst part is that many of us fail to give those gifts. We compare our gifts with those others have to offer. Seeing ourselves lacking, we heed the persuasions of doubt and fear to hide away our contribution. “Who am I to offer anything meaningful?” we question.
Yet we best embrace the spirit of the season when we kick doubt and fear out the door and just do the good we can. When you ignore any insecurities you may feel about the quality of your gift and just give your gift, you’ll find the light of Christ burning brighter in the world as well as your own life.
Recognize your light
Nature teaches that every child has the potential to become as the parent. As sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, we have the potential to become as perfect a Giver as He is. And we develop that potential by following Christ’s example.
The Savior always sought out the one. Sure, He fed 5000 with a few fish and five loaves of bread, but we have many more accounts of Him ministering to individuals: The woman at the well, the man born blind, the adulteress caught in the act, the woman with an issue of blood, His disciple Peter whom He instructed to feed His sheep — the list goes on and on.
Surely many of us will not be performing the miracles He performed. But we can all be a miracle in the life of someone who needs lifting to higher ground. We can share a smile, give a hug, offer a listening ear, and reach out with love and understanding. These acts may seem small, but they feed the needs we all have to feel loved, understood, and nourished.
Avoid the comparisons
Here many of us hold back from giving our gifts of love, compassion, hope, and positive energy. We compare our gift with what we see someone else offering, something we judge to be superior to our own gift. “Wouldn’t they want the better gift?” goes the rationalization.
We spend far too much time comparing ourselves to others in just about every way imaginable, so it’s no surprise we compare in the arena of gift giving as well. But the goodness of a gift doesn’t come from its superiority over other gifts. The goodness of a gift comes from the light and love which surround the gift. And only you can offer your unique combination of light and love to others.
Sources of light will vary, but any light is welcome in a dark room, no matter how dim or dispersed. In like manner, anyone living in a dark world will welcome any light into their lives. Any light will provide relief from any ominous burden of darkness. The sooner we quit comparing our gifts with those of others, the sooner we can offer our gifts to others and relieve them of that burden of darkness.
Make your contribution
Perhaps a unique gift of goodness you can make has entered your mind. Don’t suppress that generous thought. Don’t withhold your gift by delving into an endless debate of whether or not that idea came from God or your own thinking. If your offering brings goodness into the world, give your gift.
Just give. That’s the advice we all get from that little stream hurrying down the hill in a popular Primary song. That stream didn’t provide much water to the surrounding fields, and yet those fields grew greener still. Likewise, the gift you have to give, no matter its size, can bring love, light, and goodness into the lives of others.
This Christmas season, just give your gift. What can you do to lift someone’s burdens? What can you do to offer hope in brighter tomorrow? Even if your light is only a glimmer, when you give your gift, you make the world a better place. And that will bring more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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