Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Christmas Gift List

Warning: This is a transparency post! You have been warned and apparently decided to keep reading. By doing so you are becoming part of my accountability group on the following conviction. If you stop now you can still opt out. If you read any further you are in the group.

“The final principle for responding to a stubborn opponent is described in Romans 12:20-21: "On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Here is the ultimate weapon: deliberate, focused love (cf. Luke 6:27-28; 1 Cor. 13:4-7). Instead of reacting spitefully to those who mistreat you, Jesus wants you to discern their deepest needs and do all you can to meet those needs. Sometimes this will require going to them to show them their faults. At other times there may be a need for mercy and compassion, patience, and words of encouragement. You may even have opportunities to provide material and financial assistance to those who least deserve it or expect it from you.” – The Peacemaker by Ken Sande

Since I try to be an organized person I always make a Christmas spending budget with a list of those for whom I plan to purchase gifts. As I look over that list I see that every name is either a family member or friend. I don’t have a single enemy or stubborn opponent’s name on the list. Is that because I don’t have any enemies or opponents in my life or because I have reached this level of living as a peacemaker?

Jesus said, “"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”

I am going to take some time this week to rethink my Christmas gift list. I will ask God to show me any enemies or opponents to whom I should show kindness or favor. Do you need to review your Christmas gift list as well?

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