Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 21, 1960

The Best Gifts You Can Give

Conway Skinner, Valdosta, Georgia

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, ... And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2: 1, 11.) From this event of long ago, there has arisen the custom of gift giving during the Christmas season. One of the great problems at this season, or any other time of gift giving is the thought, "What is the very best gift that I can afford to give?" because we want to give the best possible to the ones that we love so dearly. Surely that is as it should be.

As I recently thought upon the idea of giving gifts, this thought came to my mind, "What are some of the best gifts that others have given to me?" Immediately, I thought of three: (1) The greatest gift anyone ever gave to me was the gift given by God, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (2) Then these words of an old and often forgotten verse came to my mind, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend." What a wondrous gift Christ gave to me! His very life that I might not have to die. (3) Thus the third gift, eternal life. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

As I thought of these truly great gifts that had been given to me, how paltry become the gifts that I could give — costing $1, or $10, or even $1,000! "Can I not give something more precious than that?" I thought. Aren't there a number of things of more value than money? As the lame man lay at the temple of God while Peter and John were approaching, his thoughts likely were wholly of money, and as they drew nearer, he "asked an alms". But Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." What a gift! What joy the response! The impotent was now made whole. Think how much more precious was this gift than a bag full of gold.

Do you really want to give precious gifts to those you love so dearly? Do you want to give gifts that will be treasured for a life-time? If so, read on:

Husbands — what did you give to your wife? a diamond ring? a limousine? a new house? or perhaps just a new outfit of clothes? Whatever you may have given, no doubt but she appreciated it, but there is something far better that you can afford to give. You can begin by showing the same respect for her opinions and her judgment that you once did. After all, her judgment must be good; for of all the men she could have chosen as her life's companion, she chose YOU. That shows her judgment to be of some value, so give her the respect she deserves and so deeply desires By the way do you remember how attentive you were to your wife back in the good old "courting days"? (She remembers, even if you don't). You could begin again to bestow upon her the love, gentleness, and kindness that you once did so eagerly; this would truly be a great gift.

Wives — did you give your beloved that new boat he had craved so long? or was it a new gun? or, perhaps a T. V. set? Yes, he appreciated it, I'm sure of that, but not nearly as much as some other things that you have in your power to give him. Do you remember how often you used to express to him how much you appreciated his little acts of thoughtfulness? He would love to hear you say those same things now. Do you want him to go forth eagerly looking forward to each new day's activity, and be just that anxious to come home to you? Then give LESS COMPLAINTS, and MORE COMPLIMENTS! Simple, but what a great gift that would be. And another thing, have you (like Martha) become too concerned with the affairs of the home? Are you overly concerned about tidiness? Certainly you want your house to look neat when that unexpected company "drops in," but really, wouldn't it be better to allow a little more muss and to have a lot less fuss? How easily you could give these gifts to the one you love best, and it wouldn't cost you even a dime'

Since God and Christ have done so much for you, wouldn't you like to give them something, too? You can, you know. There is one gift that you can give to them that is far above all others you might offer. Not that it would really be very valuable to Him, for after all, He is the Lord of Heaven and earth, and in Him we live and move and have our being. But there still remains one gift above all others that you have within your power to give unto God. You can (verily, you MUST) "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God."

Other gifts you have given in the past, others you will give in the future; but these are truly great gifts that you can give.