Remember how, just a few days ago, family members or friends got together around an abundance of food, eating so much that a nap felt necessary? This year, I saw more than ever in terms of turkey, dressing, pie, mac and cheese, biscuits, sweet potatoes, cakes, and the list goes on and on.
Each of us at the table shared what we were most thankful for. The answers were about the same, even though our ages ranged from 17 to 87 — family, friends and faith. I agree with all these answers, and yet living in Georgia means football must be included somewhere near the top. I’d compare the gratitude. question to this one: Which four top teams should be in the NCAA Playoffs in 2022?
So, how do we go from being thankful to asking for things we want in such a short time? Many of us, myself included, do not need most of the items we receive at Christmas. We are already blessed with our basic needs being met, such as food, clothing, shelter, family, a job and much more.
I think the intense and selfish desire for something —especially tangible items, wealth or power — begins when we start comparing ourselves to others. These “others” could be people we will never know on a personal or professional basis. Or they could be people inside our close circle that we see every day.
How can I position myself not to get on the merry-go-round of becoming greedy this holiday season? To stay focused on the most important gifts I experience during this season of life, I ask myself these three questions as I reflect on the physical gifts that I might give or receive:
• Would it separate me from my relationship with Jesus Christ?
• Would it cause friction or pain within my family?
• Would it reflect that my circle of friends is not important?
Relationships are the most important gift. Will you give that most important gift to someone special this year, rather than an item that will waste away in a few weeks or years?
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