And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh - Matthew 2:11 ESV
Christmas growing up was an awesome time in our household. I can remember my sister and I waking up at 4 am (I know my parents probably disliked the fact that we got up so early and as a result, forced them to have the gifts ready sooner than they liked) and running down the stairs to see what gifts we had. We were so excited, that we could not wait for our parents to get up. The thrill of running down the steps to see our gifts was an indescribable experience that I have never forgotten.
Now as I've gotten older, I am able to personally experience what my parents felt during those Christmas mornings. My 2 sons, especially when they were younger, got up early to see what gifts they had waiting under the tree. Like my parents before me, we were fortunate enough to have something for them under the tree to enjoy.
The ironic thing is that I derive a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the looks of joy on their faces as they open their gifts. I am happier because I have given to them as opposed to receiving presents.
Now imagine what the scene would be like if they ran down the steps to open their gifts and nothing was under the tree? How do you think they would feel? Can you imagine their level of disappointment? Is this something you would want to experience as a parent? I would think not!
Unfortunately, we do something equivalent to this when we withhold from others the gifts that our Heavenly Father provided for us. Every time we take our talent and hide it under a bushel, we have deprived someone of the opportunity to feel unbridled joy and satisfaction as a result of seeing your gifts on display.
Like the wise men that brought the best that they had when coming to worship Christ, we should always bring the best of us when we are with those in our sphere of influence. They deserve to see the best that we have to offer. We should give them the best that we have on a consistent basis.
I don't imagine that you wouldn't keep gifts from your children at Christmastime. Let us keep that same mindset when we are tempted to not utilize the gifts that God provided to impact those around us. Resolve to give those in our sphere of influence the very best that we have to offer. Do not withhold our gifts and talents. In doing so, you will learn the value of giving and the wonderful feeling that comes from sharing.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.