“It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” – 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NLT)
For many people, the Christmas (or Chanukah) season is their favorite time of year. The time spent with family, the abundance of favorite foods, and of course the opening of gifts all make this holiday special.
When I was a kid, I was so keen on getting gifts I would often peel back the wrapping paper to get a peak at what was underneath (and I’ll bet you did, too). After all the gifts were unwrapped, I would head outside to gather with my friends and compare gifts which, in Southern California, inevitably included a few new bikes, a skateboard or two and usually one remote-controlled car. However, it seemed to me that no matter how cool my gifts were, there was always some other gift my friends had that I envied. I guess they felt the same, because we usually ended up playing with the other person’s gifts more than our own.
What bothers me is how often I have this same attitude towards the gifts the Holy Spirit has wisely given to me. Instead of enjoying and showing gratitude for the gifts God graciously gave me, I find myself desiring “other” gifts – gifts I see in people that I, with self-proclaimed omniscience abounding, deem more successful than I am. I figure if I had their gifts then I, too, could have what they have: house, car, job, published book, prestige. You know, all those items that are destined to perish. But by doing so, all I’ve really done is whine, tell God I don’t like my gifts and, in a not-so-subtle manner, suggest He made a mistake. Continue Reading