Last week, I made a special day for the boys. First we went to the library. Then we picked up food from a local restaurant and brought it home to eat.
We had a busy schedule later in the evening, but I told them we would be fine if we just did what we needed to and didn’t mess around too much.
I expected good behavior from my kids. After all, look at all the gifts I’d just given them.
But good behavior was nowhere to be found. They were messing around when they were supposed to be eating, and supper took forever. Then, instead of helping to clear the table, they were having a sword fight with another gift we’d given them the week before.
“Stop using these gifts I have given you against me!” I shouted. “I gave you these things, because I love you, and now you are using them to be disrespectful to me.”
Then it struck me.
How many times have I used the gifts God gave me to be disrespectful to Him, or ignore Him altogether?
- God has given me a glorious life, full of gifts, and yet I’m too busy to pray.
- God gave me children when the doctors said it wouldn’t happen, and yet how many times have I allowed these children to hold a higher place in my heart than God?
- Even my cell phone distracts me from God.
Of course I know God forgives me. He forgives us all instantly when we ask.
And He’s a better parent than me. God didn’t give me these gifts expecting flawless behavior in return. I’ve received everything from Him purely because He loves me — He loves all of us.
Knowing that only makes me want to serve Him better. So I’ve been paying attention in life.
When I catch myself putting the gifts before the Gift Giver I try to:
- Refocus my attention on God.
2. Offer up a prayer of gratitude.
3. Do my best to keep my priorities in order moving forward.
God knows it’s not always easy. However, it is always important to keep the Gift Giver above the gifts if we can.
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