5 Great Gifts

Do you know what the average person spent on Black Friday weekend?  The National Retail Federation estimates 247 million shoppers visited online and bricks-and-mortar stores during the long weekend, spending an average of $423 each for a total of $59.1 billion!

How long do you think those purchases will last? Toys–last maybe 30 days; clothes–one season; electronic gadgets—approximately one to three years.

Have you ever thought about gifts that last longer?  They are intangible gifts but bring a greater sense of lasting satisfaction to our lives.

One leader hoped for five such gifts for his people.  Do you know what they were?

Good fruit of every kind.  Satisfying, productive, significant work makes a difference in the world.  Growth in our character means we are becoming the kind of people we desire to be and we are enjoying healthy, satisfying relationships with our spouses, family, and team members. What other kinds of good fruit do you hope to produce?

Knowing God better.  Do you ever find it intriguing that we clamor to get close to famous people—rock stars, celebrities, business gurus and authors etc?  I certainly enjoy meeting people like that. It is amazing to me that the Creator and Designer of the entire universe desires to have a personal relationship with me.  I don’t have to schedule an appointment in someone’s busy schedule or wait until they come to my city.  God is available in every moment, regardless of whether I have been good or bad.

Endurance and patience.  Life is full of setbacks and obstacles. Sometimes I need patience when others grate on my nerves; other times I need patience in trying circumstances.  We all want to arrive successfully at the end.  We all need endurance.

A life filled with joy. Doing a Google search for joy during the holiday, I found this on the first link:  “Feeling down during the holidays can be tough, especially since you seem so out of step with the world. Everyone else seems to be beaming, ruddy-cheeked, bursting with holiday spirit. You’re feeling wretched and exhausted. But here’s something to cheer you up the next time you’re stuck in a room of revelers at a holiday party: Plenty of them are probably unhappy, too.” (www.webmd.com). The article normalizes hard times, but somehow just knowing that others are miserable does not cheer me up.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have not only holidays but a life characterized by joy?  What will that take for you?

A thankful heart.  I recently wrote a blog on the Transforming Power of Gratitude.  The research in this area is fascinating: A thankful heart changes us, transforms our relationships and helps us be more productive at work.

Wouldn’t these be awesome gifts to receive this year?  The leader who wanted these for his people was Paul, the Apostle. Do you know the key agent for releasing all those gifts? Paul prayed that the group of people in Colossae would have spiritual insight and thorough understanding into knowing God’s will and the ways in which God works. According to Paul, that was the key to living well and the precursor to these five gifts. (Colossians 1:9-12).

What intangible gifts would you like to possess or give to loved ones this year? What do you need to do now to take a first step?

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