Yesterday was a rough day. By noon, all 4 of my kids had had a meltdown over something. After my oldest had calmed down some from her’s, we sat down to talk about it. At one point in the conversation, she told me that I should just burn all her presents because she didn’t deserve them. (Earlier this week someone had asked the kids if they were being good for Santa. They responded that Santa wasn’t real and the person said she had a friend that threw her kids presents in the fire when they were bad.) I told her I wasn’t going to do that because I hadn’t bought her presents because she deserved them. I bought them because I loved her. My love is not contingent on her behavior. It hit me then and I shared this with her as well. That’s just like Christ. He doesn’t offer us salvation because we deserve it. If we’re being honest, every single one of us deserves to have our gifts “thrown in a fire” or taken away from us. We deserve death, yet as his children, we are given blessings and promises of amazing things to come. Praise the Lord, God’s love is not based off how we behave or even how we treat Him as our Heavenly Father. He loves us despite all of that. I don’t know why I haven’t made this connection before. Maybe instead of threatening our children continually with returning their gifts or giving them away this Christmas, we should instead be using those moments to teach them. Teach them that real love is unconditional. Show them what Christ’s love looks like. Point out to them how love gives, not based on what is deserved or earned, but solely because of that love. Remind yourselves this year of just how much Christ loves you and just how little we truly deserve His good gifts and be thankful.
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15