Gifted –

Part IV:  Gift-Giving

Preparing for Christmas Day:  Pros and Cons of Gift-giving

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Proverbs 25:21-22 (12/20/10)

Thanks to the Chancel and Sonrise Choirs of St. John’s UMC, to our own organist and soloists, to the guest musicians and composer, to all the readers, and most especially to our Director of Music for their beautiful gift of the Christmas musical program.  If it’s anything like the quilt I started in November, it probably seemed like a wonderful idea in the planning stages, and a wonderful idea once the last performance was over.  In the meantime, there were probably some times of just plain hard work where it didn’t seem quite so wonderful.

Giving gifts has pros and cons.  In October and on Christmas Day, it’s all pros.  In the few days before Christmas, some cons start appearing.  This week we will take a light-hearted look at some Biblical pros and cons of gift-giving.  Have you ever gotten a gift from someone who wasn’t on your own list?  Be honest — was your reaction, “Aaaw, that’s nice…,” or was it, “DARN!  What can I get that will arrive in two days??”  Today’s reading speaks to this dilemma.

Proverbs 19:6 (12/21/10)

Our proverb sounds a little cynical at first blush.

But think about it this way.  A generous person is likely to be kind, and other people like to be deserving of that kindness.  A person who gives gifts is (often) somebody who just naturally likes people, and everyone wants to be friends with somebody like that.  So maybe this proverb, like most of them, is just an observation about how the world works.

Daniel 2:47-48 (12/22/10)

Have you gotten a “free gift” lately?  I always wonder, “As opposed to what?  A gift I have to pay for?”  Your Christmas bonus isn’t a gift, either; according to the IRS, it’s part of your W-2 income. 

Another type of gift that isn’t is the reward.  After Daniel correctly told King Nebuchadnezzar his dream and then interpreted it, Nebuchadnezzar gave him gifts.  This strikes me as something for something, a reward, not something for nothing, which is what a gift is. 

Genesis 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.  (12/23/10)

Fellow-reader Daryl L. sent me a note about yesterday's study tip. I changed today's readings to show that he is absolutely correct.
Our entire study comes down to this: Everyone has a gift. Make the best use of yours.

More "Gifted"
Who Are the Gifted?
The Gift of Wealth
Mentoring the Gifted
Gift Giving

Copyright 2010, 2016 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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