What is your favorite gift, either from the past or that you hope to receive in the future? I have lots of favorite gifts; a watercolor picture of a cross my daughter painted in elementary school and a framed picture of flowers all the same color except one flower that’s a different color and says, “Now you can see what I see in you,” from my youngest son when he was a Freshman in high school. Then there’s those gifts of a different fondness like the gifts we have no idea what to do with or the ones you know were last minute thoughts. I received a gift like this that has become a favorite family story. The gift came from my oldest son when he was in high school. It was my birthday and my other two kids were giving me their birthday presents when this son realized he’d forgotten so instead of admitting it he exclaimed he had my gift in his room and proceeded to go retrieve it. When he almost immediately returned from his room he had a decorative jar with half a hand full of change, mostly pennies, inside. We teased him that he had been given that jar himself with candy in it but he held to his story that it was always his intended gift for me. One year on his birthday I gave the jar back filled with candy for fun. I probably had his birthday money in it too. Through the years this story of our regifted jar has become a favorite memory and has provided many laughs. We even regifted that jar a couple more times and I have to say I’m not the one who ended up with it.
Proverbs 19:6 says, “Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.” So why do we give gifts and what do we consider the perfect gift? Is the perfect gift something of monetary value and prestige or is it something simple and sentimental? Proverbs 19 goes on to say in verse 7, “All a poor man’s brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them.” These verses simply mean that a wealthy man has many “friends” while a poor man has none (See also Proverbs 19:4). We are a selfish, greedy people seeking gifts we think we need and deserve. The truth is the most valuable, most prestigious gift is the simplest and most sentimental one that is right in front of each of us. In fact, we not only are given a gift but we ARE a gift. James 1:17-18 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures,”. God gave a perfect gift through His son, Jesus, being salvation and eternity with them in heaven. And upon accepting this gift we’re given another gift, the Holy Spirit, who is our own personal guide. How prestigious is that! And we, in turn, are a gift back to God giving Him glory forever! So when you hear the words like are mentioned in Proverbs 19:7, please hear and know you are more valuable than what may be perceived on this earth. And when you hear about Jesus, know you are hearing about the most valuable and everlasting gift you could ever receive and it will surely become your most favorite.
Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” I hope you hear, recognize, accept, and let the best and most favored gift reside in your heart today.