By AYANNA CLARKE
One of the things I love about our focus on the Christmas story is that you can apply it to so many areas of your life. When it comes to seeing yourself as a gift, and although school is out for the holidays, here are two lessons to study:
Be very careful to whom you present ourselves as gifts, and continue seeing yourself as a gift, even when you are ignored as one:
LESSON ONE: I am gold, I am frankincense, I am myrrh
Seeing yourself as a gift can be difficult, especially if you have been surrounded by those who leave you out, shut you out, or throw you away all together. But recently, I’ve been meditating on the gift of the Magi; and declaring: I am gold, I am frankincense, I am myrrh – precious and rare; worthy of being treated exceptionally well.
It is amazing that this part of the story teaches us about presenting ourselves to Christ as gifts for his use as well as how we share ourselves with others. As a gift, you can be wasted and misused or accepted and celebrated. The thing is you must be wise enough to know the difference.
The Magi could have just left their gifts with the King, trusting that he would deliver them, but they didn’t; somehow knowing Herod was not the recipient, and that he would use the gifts to his own selfish advantage.
To see yourself as a gift, you must remember:
• You are who you are
• You are not responsible for making people accept you as a gift, that’s on them.
Here’s my new prayer: Father, help me to recapture the writer, the singer, the entrepreneur, the preacher, all the gifts I am – anything I squandered on those who took me for granted. Whatever your gifts, this can be your prayer, too.
Into Christmas and beyond, adopt the mindset that you will reserve yourself only for those you deem truly worthy.
LESSON TWO: A gift is still a gift
My baby sister was the worst to buy gifts for as a toddler. No matter how large or interesting any present was, she would opt for her favourite toys – the comb and the brush. She would play on the bedroom floor to her hearts content. The new gift: opened, tossed aside and completely ignored.
Unfortunately, that’s how it is sometimes: no matter what we are capable of, or how much we could enhance any experience, the gift that we are is simply ignored.
What do you do when who you are or what you can do isn’t really nurtured but tolerated then minimised? It certainly doesn’t change the benefit you bring, even if you are ignored.
At his birth, Christ was treated as menially as any gift could have been. Laid in a feeding trough, wrapped in milk rags, and celebrated by humble shepherds. Certainly not recognition worthy of God’s Son. To add insult to injury, he grew up partly on the run, couldn’t minister to his own and was betrayed by friends.
Ultimately, Christ didn’t let any of this reduce him as a gift and he is still celebrated thousands of years later as the Saviour who took away the sins of the world.
All this should remind you not to let how you are treated cause you to diminish yourself. God has entrusted you with so much, and doors will open for you to fulfil purpose on His behalf. Be assured, He will increase you beyond the areas you were ignored.
So class, let’s review: You are a gift – rare, precious and exceptional, and in time you will be received as the wonderful gift that you are.
God bless you this week!