Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Just Christmas Gifts....right? Ummm....Think Again.....

~Tracy Frederick

I am stuck...sigh...As I recover from my first hip replacement between semesters I am stuck at home. So, this morning I washed a few dishes while a morning news show was playing in the background. Since it is Christmas a segment with children was a centerpiece. I paused to watch the children discuss their Christmas wishes. Each child, dressed very sweetly was able to articulate very strongly, what they wanted for Christmas. They were asked to act out how they would react if they received their heart’s desire. Then they were asked to show how they would react if they DIDN’T receive their choice (laptop, robotic baby, favorite electronic expensive toy, etc.). They knew exactly what to do...they quickly showed their “angry face.” The segment host thought it was great. It was supposed to be funny, right? She told them how much she liked their “angry faces.” One little girl however, when asked how she would react if she didn’t get her toy of choice replied with a sweet: “Thank you.”  The host replied: “Well, I guess we always have to say thank you right? But show me that angry face that goes with it.” The little girl then said “Thank you” with face that said anything but thank you; to which the host told her how important it is to do that so they understand that she really doesn’t mean it.
She was a cute little girl that was very polite throughout the interview. She had been taught to behave in a respectful way and with gratitude and in just a few minutes all of that was gone. She was different, however. She wasn’t the norm. All of the other children already knew how to show that they didn’t like the gift and how to “punish” their parents for failing to get them what they want.  The lesson of selfishness and the look on the children’s faces stuck with me. I’ve seen that face before. I’ve seen children yell at their parents for getting them the wrong brand of this and the wrong color of that. We still do it, don’t we? We still sometimes harbor feelings of ungratefulness or ingratitude to our Father for the wonderful blessings He showers on us each day. Maybe we don’t even recognize them because we focus on our own heart’s desires. So, I am thinking of the children who will open their gifts tonight or in the morning...probably many more than they should have...and the faces they will make. Each gift will be a lesson. With each gift is an opportunity of gratitude or selfishness.  

It in these opportunities that will determine the selfishness and gratefulness they will have as an adult. Will they feel that they have a “right” to whatever they want? Or will they develop a humble attitude that will lead them to their salvation? 
Maybe it is just Christmas. Maybe it is just a bunch of gifts. But, perhaps it is an opportunity to teach: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” I John 2: 15-17.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." John 3:16a

That is something to be grateful for.

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