Why the Best Gift of All?
Dear WHY Team member,
Thinking of you during this very special time of year.
A few weeks back we talked about Thanks-giving, this week we consider For-giving.
Yes, we have so much in which to be thankful and plenty from which to give, but remember, the most important Give is to For-Give.
We’re living in the sunset of another year; yes, We Are Living! And even though I wish your year was only filled with joy and laughter, as Sheryl Sandberg shares,” Life is not perfect, when Option A is not available we all live some form of Option B.”
What if you were to pick a nicely wrapped present from under the tree and when you look inside, you find Forgiveness.
Will it hurt your ego or humble you? Have you considered gifting Forgiveness? While there will be the exchange of presents, food and good cheer - a truly powerful gift is to release others from what you perceive to be wrongs against you. As we learned in physics, with every action comes a reaction. Sometimes the actions of others, especially those closest to us, can hurt us deeply. Are you strong enough to give them …Forgiveness?
This holiday isn't just about giving to the ones we like, how about giving to the ones who have hurt us?
Quoting Sheryl’s Option B again, “part of every misery, is the misery’s shadow.” It destroys from within. Let’s make this a cheerful blog; Christmas is a magical time of the year and even though material gifts are in order, this year really consider giving something that may be priceless- to the one you know who needs it most.
Be the light.
I love driving through neighborhoods at night at this time of year to see the various decorations; I still marvel at the lights on some houses. Imagine if everyone’s attitude would be as lit and as decorated as a Christmas tree and if that would carry throughout the year.
Every Christmas season I watch the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life and am reminded once again how easy it is to devalue ourselves. In the movie, George cannot pay a debt and gets to the point of feeling worthless. As most of you know, only when he sees how the world would have been without him does he realize that he is far more valuable than his unpaid debts. In fact, in the end, he couldn't pay his debt - love paid his debt and love awakened him to his true worth. George got to see what he did have rather than focusing entirely on what was missing. He also got to see the loving overflow of generosity from others. It's a story of the redeeming power of love and always brings me to tears.
It is first up to us to recognize that what we have already received is beyond what anyone could say they deserve. We need only see the abundance in our life to know this. But if we choose to keep our balance sheets listing all the hurts others have done to us - it is we who will suffer needlessly, not to mention everyone around us. It is often much easier to open our wallets and give than to open our hearts and give. This season consider all the more the gifts you have received and the ones you are giving.
This season, give the greatest gift of all - give the gift of Forgiveness!
And nothing will empower you more to do this than to receive it for yourself. When George found himself on that bridge, he only saw where he had failed, he wished he had never been born. Fortunately for him, he got a chance to see what that would have meant. Your life, despite your faults and shortcomings, is far more valuable than you can ever imagine. You are a gift to the world. When you truly know this, you will want others to know this about themselves as well. Only through forgiveness for ourselves, and then for others, can we truly live A Wonderful Life - one that gives, one that serves, one that fulfills the WHY of our lives.
May forgiveness fill your heart and provide you, and the ones you love, a Very Joyous Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year!
Best wishes to you and yours,
12/23/2019 03:06:59 pm
Perhaps your best yet Steve! Merry Christmas my old friend. May you continued to be abundantly blessed!
12/31/2019 07:19:28 am
Steve, thank you for such thoughtfulness! I felt conviction reading this, although professing forgiveness for some that have wronged me, reaching that point of forgiveness years ago, but always questioning, have I really forgiven. As I pray for those same people tonight in watch night service, I will be asking of the Father to show me my wrongs. Thank you, Steve! Have a safe holiday!
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