Today’s Scripture: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31

Some gifts are best enjoyed when we purchase them ourselves. Like a nose hair trimmer; or a clip-on tie; or a half-full jar of spaghetti sauce; or a grenade with a bow tied to the pin; or furniture from the mother-in-law; or “intellectually stimulating” gifts. Believe it or not, these are all gifts my staff members have received for Christmas in the past.

When you receive a Christmas gift which leaves you speechless, here are five great things you can say:

  1. “Well, well, well . . .”
  2. “I really don’t deserve this.”
  3. “I love it, but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.”
  4. “I just joined a witness protection program, so you will never see me wear this.”
  5. “Too bad I promised to give all my gifts to charity this year.”

From the time we were young to the present, we have learned to anticipate gifts for Christmas and our birthdays. It’s a part of American culture (one we especially appreciate when we get something good). Yet for all of the joy which comes from tangible blessings, the greatest gifts are spiritual in nature. These include the following:

  1. The Gift of Christ Himself
  2. The Gift of the Holy Spirit
  3. The gift of eternal life
  4. The gifts of individual personal abilities
  5. The gift of salvation by faith

If you are a born-again Christian, these are gifts which are already in your possession, gifts for which you can give thanks right now. Even if you get the “wrong” gift, you can enjoy your spiritual gifts for a lifetime. Treat them as you would any other prized possession: tell others about them and use them for others’ benefit. Most importantly, thank God for them; and you won’t be disappointed if someone comes along and gives you a gift you wish they had kept for themselves.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.