During Christmas we all receive a ton of presents. Sometimes you have to wonder about their usefulness. Maybe you could offer one of these to your boss next year for Christmas! But then, if you are looking for a promotion, maybe this would NOT be the way to go… Maybe you should feed it to your atrociously ferociously hungry garbage can instead. Either way, it will not catch much attention!
Other gifts are super special and you wonder how the giver actually had the insight to offer such a delightful token of appreciation. These are the precious ones, the ones that make you say: “Don’t touch! It’s mine!”
But then again, if your boss is eying it, your promotion could be toast…
On our first day in Nassau, a beach vender befriended my wife. For a very acceptable price she braided my wife’s hair (a no-touch kind of gift), and my wife was also very pleased with the beautiful jade/hematite cross that was swinging from her neck that she had just purchased from the same lady (another “hot” no-touch kind of gift).
During the braiding session, I found a sudden need to develop the desire to wander around town for two hours… It’s amazing how ungrateful men can be! I returned however, just in time for the vendor to open up and share her personal life with my wife. The sales lady was facing a dilemma. Some people from a well-known sect were giving her bible studies. However she was concerned that she was not allowed to use her own Bible, and Jesus was hardly ever mentioned during these meetings.
We gave our two-cents worth of advice and let God take care of the rest. This nice merchant made the decision to halt these encounters at her home, and instead, to pursue Jesus with all of her heart. (The best no-touch kind of gift in the world!)
Although I hadn’t been faithfully attending to the whole hair discussion, when she had finished with my wife, the vendor turned to me and said, “Now I’m goin’na make a nice cross for you!”
I didn’t know what to say. Christmas was far away, and I hardly ever receive pleasant surprises from total strangers. “Euh…euh…euh.” I courageously uttered between breaths.
“Don’t say nothing! Come back in two days and I’ll have it for ya!”
Two days later I was blessed with a beautiful hematite necklace with a cross pendant. As she had noticed that I had an ultra-X-sized kind of neck, she had added a few extra links. The finished product fit me to a “T”.
That’s when I remembered Prov 21:3: “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” NIV
Doing what is right and just is of a higher price to the Lord that all of our monetary sacrifices. I guess it’s because it is a sign of true love. God, being the romantic that He is (He pursues us fervently with His sacred romance), enjoys that His children follow in His footsteps.
What will your next present be? A throw-away kind of present or a “WOW” kind of token of appreciation?
“If anyone boasts, ‘I love God,’ and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?” (1 John 4:20 The Message)
(To view the entire “Sweet Sacrifice!” devotional series, please click here.)