November 26, 2008

 

Gift Giving Wisdom

Sharon Glasgow

 

“She sees that her trading is profitable.” Proverbs 31:18 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

This weekend holds the busiest shopping days of the year as people rush out to buy holiday gifts for friends and family. It’s so hard to find the “perfect gift” for everyone on your list.

 

I’m reminded of a gift I once received that I didn’t much care for. Everybody was staring at me as I opened the present. My acting abilities aren’t exactly silver screen quality, but as I pulled the suit out of the tissue, I mustered every ounce of enthusiasm I could, “Thank you … you shouldn’t have!”

 

The style of the clothing just wasn’t “me.” With a quick glance, I also noticed that it was about 3 sizes too big. Whew, that will be my excuse, I thought, its just way too big. She asked me to try it on. “Oh Sharon, it’s perfect on you!” What was she looking at? It swallowed me whole.

 

I was thankful that she had blessed me with a gift but after staring at it for a week, I just couldn’t bear the thought of wearing it. There were no price tags on it for me to exchange it, so I decided I would take it to a consignment store to sell.

 

The next week I was shopping with my girls. Walking by the suit section of a department store, my eyes caught glimpse of the same suit I had just taken to the consignment shop. A hot flash went over my face as I saw the price.

 

The price tag said $280. What?! How could anyone spend that much money on me? Immediately I called the consignment shop I’d left it at. They were closed until Monday.

 

Monday morning 15 minutes before they opened I was at their door waiting anxiously. As soon as it was unlocked, I pushed through the door and quickly asked if they still had my suit. They had to go to the back to find out. The minutes ticked by like years. They found it! “Funny thing is ma’am that was the most popular suit this past weekend, many tried it on but it didn’t fit anyone.” “Thank you,” I said and I took the suit back out of the shop.

 

I took it back to my friend, thanked her, and told her it was a beautiful suit but it just wasn’t my style and didn’t fit properly. No, I didn’t tell her the whole consignment shop story, I probably never will - unless she reads this!

 

My point is, choosing gifts is hard even for talented shoppers or even for those with plenty to spend. Receiving gifts can be just as hard sometimes. This holiday, speak up if someone asks you what you need or would like to receive. Try asking friends and family to window-shop (online or in a store that you have access to) and make a list of items they like. Or ask them if there is a service you can treat them to like a car wash, a night of babysitting, or a manicure. Gift certificates are usually a good choice as well.

 

Shopping this way may not seem “special” enough, but it’s better to be wise with the money God entrusts you with than to gamble on buying an expensive gift the recipient might dislike, or worse, consign to sell. Not only the money, but the time you spent shopping would be wasted.

 

Finally, remember that the good news of the baby Jesus is the greatest Christmas gift ever given, and it doesn’t cost a dime to share it with those on your gift-list this year.

 

Dear Lord, help me to be wise this year in my gift-giving and make the best use of my shopping time and money. Help me bless others and bring glory to You this Christmas. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

 

Homespun Gifts from the Heart by Karen Ehman

 

Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas? by Brenda Poinsett

 

Consider sharing God’s peace, perspective and purpose with a gift subscription to P31 Woman Magazine

 

Application Steps: 

Be a good listener throughout the year and when someone mentions something they would like, write it down for future shopping.

 

Consider how to show the eternal gift of Christ’s love to your loved ones.

 

Reflections: 

Are you anxious about holiday gift-giving?

 

Have you set a pre-determined amount you will spend on gifts?

 

You’ll have more time to celebrate Christ this Christmas if you get organized regarding your budget and gift-giving now.

 

Power Verses:

2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. “ (NKJ)

 

Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (NKJ)

 

Ecclesiastes 7:12, "Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor." (NIV)

 

 

© 2008 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

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