Welcome to the time of year when we rush around looking for those last minute gift ideas. You know, the office party you forgot about, your child’s teacher(s), your child’s best friend, and the one you have been putting off because you are looking for the “perfect gift.”
I am taking today to remind you of a few gifts that last.
Four Gifts that Keep on Giving
Respect: This to me is the thrust of Jesus’ statement in what we call the golden rule of Matt 7:12. This is what Paul commends in Phil 2:1-4. Treat other people respectfully. We do this by our actions and by our words.
Compassion: This is another way to say “understanding” or “empathy.” Look into the eyes of others and do your best to know them and to know what makes them who they are and leads them to do what they do. How many times in Scripture do we read something similar to this, “Jesus looking on them had compassion . . .” Look at others with the eyes of Jesus. This will keep us from judging unrighteous judgement and will help us be a better influence on those around us.
Listening: This is a gift everyone of us wants. We want others to hear what we say. I am not talking about the words, but the meaning behind what we say. When we talk about our lives, our families, our successes, and our failures, we want others to respect us enough to listen with compassion. We are not always wanting others to solve our problems or to pat us on the back, but we do want to disclose part of who we are to those we trust. Are you listening?
Love: Ultimately this is what the other three communicate. Love respects others space, time, and feelings. Love works compassionately for the benefit of the other. Love listens to my dreams, desires, and disasters. With respect to Whitney Houston; Love for others (not yourself) is the greatest gift of all. Remember the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
One of the greatest blessings of these gifts is that once you bless someone with them, you often get them in return. Even if you do not, you receive benefit from giving – Acts 20:35.