The gift of today

June 10, 2016


Do you have someone in your life who’s difficult to buy gifts for?  

Perhaps they have obscure tastes, or they already have everything, or maybe they’re simply content with what they have. My husband is like that. 

On the other hand, I am fairly easy to buy for. I have a collection of Matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls), and collectible teddy bears that I am always happy to add to. I have a variety of crafty interests that require never-ending supplies, I enjoy nifty kitchen gadgets, I love candles, stationery (especially Kikki K) and I adore chocolate. 

I’m easy to buy for, as there are plenty of choices.  

But what about the gifts you receive that don’t ‘cut it’ for you? Those you hold onto only because you value the person who gave them to you and which you hide away at the back of the cupboard, never to see the light of day (except if said person comes to visit, and out they come). 

Perhaps you have a re-gifting policy that passes on these treasures to someone you think might be better suited. 

I think a gift that doesn’t actually get used diminishes the value of that gift in some way. I’m not referring to collectibles that people like to keep in their original boxes in the hope that they will fetch a higher resale price at some future date.  

I do, however, wonder if they bring as much joy in their packaging as they could have if taken out and enjoyed thoroughly. 

Jesus told a story about the importance of valuing the gifts that are offered to us. A master had three servants, who were all given gifts to use (Matthew chapter 25, verses 14–30). 

Two of the servants went out and took a risk with what they were given. The master was impressed, as they had taken their gifts and created something more—as a result, they were rewarded. 

However, the third servant was too fearful to do anything with their bag of silver (didn’t even deposit it in the bank to earn interest!). Instead he buried it in the ground so he didn’t lose any of it. 

In the end, this servant returned every piece to the master exactly the way it had been given (although maybe a little grubbier) and was berated for being so risk-averse, for not even trying to use the gift.  

I don’t want to fall into the trap of being like that third servant. I want look at the gifts that come my way, tangible or otherwise, and make sure that I use them well.


Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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