What’s the worst thing a person could do with a gift they couldn’t repay? For my purposes, since this is about accepting gifts, not giving them, let’s assume the giver is acting with pure motives. The giver really wants to give this gift, and they’re giving it free and clear of any expectations.

I’ve put some thought into this question, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • They could refuse to accept it and/or give it back.
  • They could underestimate the value and return it to a store for less than it’s worth.
  • They could use the gift to their own advantage without appreciating the giver of the gift.
  • They could accept it and then run themselves ragged trying to repay the giver/earn the gift.

We know how we’re supposed to react, though, don’t we? We’re supposed to accept the gift with joy and gratitude toward the giver.

It’s a no-brainer. Right?

But how do we react toward heavenly gifts? For Christians, the most obvious gift is our salvation, which came at the cost of Jesus dying at the cross. We can never repay that.

But let’s take it even further. Everything in our lives is a gift from God. How would I ever even pay God back for the joy and fun of my dogs, let alone for the companionship God has given me in my marriage or the support and love of my family?

I can go another step further: how do I react to gifts I can’t see the value in at first? It’s so easy to fight against and bemoan suffering and trails, but that’s not what the Bible says we should do. 

So, how should we react to all the gifts from God that fill our lives? With joy and life-changing gratitude toward the Giver.

I need this reminder, and I trust I’m not the only one. As we rush toward Thanksgiving and into the busy, gift-giving season beyond, let’s take the time to gratefully remember the greatest gift God’s given us. Let’s also thank Him for all the other gifts He showers on us.

God is so good.

What gift from Him are you especially thankful for today?

P.S. This post was inspired by “Returning Christmas,” a short story of mine that’s coming out next month as a part of this anthology. As I write this, it’s only $.99. Proceeds go to ACFW Virginia 🙂