Unconventional Gifts

(Reposted from a previous blog)

Today is the first day of December. Often what comes with this day is the sudden onslaught of pressure to execute a memorable holiday season. The squeeze on the economy and the wars and rumors of wars doesn't help to relieve the pressure. We are all carrying the tension of the current events yet as Kingdom people we have access to a secret resource: 

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

For those of us who are in covenant with the Lord, He, the source of all things pertaining to life and godliness, is in us. 

Because He is in us, no matter where we go or what circumstances we are faced with in this time we have the ability to give from an eternal storehouse of hope, joy, encouragement, strength, and more because The Greater One is in us. Do not lose sight of what you can give this season. The gifts of this earth can be stolen, lost, and will pass away, but what we can give from eternity's store will last forever. 

In this season, I want to bring some inspiration for some unconventional gifts you can give this year, starting with: 

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding is a gift. If you have ever been misunderstood, you will appreciate this gift all the more. Even if you find yourself still being misunderstood, you are more than able to give the gift of understanding to others. The word of the Lord teaches us, "Do unto others as you would have them do for you". While being misunderstood is a hard burden to bear, instead of waiting for others to understand you- begin to work at understanding others. 

So many family feuds could be intercepted if we practiced understanding. So many friendships could be saved if we would make time for understanding. So many marriages could exist in peace if we allotted space for understanding. 

To understand something isn't so much about getting underneath of a situation much like a mechanic rolls under a car to check out a car's health. It's moreso about standing in the midst of a matter. With this definition in mind, consider what it takes to practice giving the gift of understanding: 

1.) You must leave your comfort zone.

 So often misunderstanding comes because we aren't willing to see things from the other person's perspective. It can be uncomfortable to hear that we were the one in error or that we hurt someone, albeit unintentional. To understand someone, you must be willing to leave from "your side" of the disagreement and stand in the midst of what's going on. This helps you see their perspective, but also the Lord's perspective. There's always many sides to a story, but the Lord's perspective is the most important. 

2.) You must be willing to be curious instead of jumping to conclusions. 

There have been times that I'd much rather jump to conclusions than take the time to learn why someone acts or speaks a certain way that I'm not used to or don't agree with. It's more convenient to jump to conclusions than to take the time to ask questions. To give the gift of understanding requires patience on your behalf. You have to be willing to take the time to slow down and be curious instead of assuming you know where the other person is coming from. If you're prophetic at all, it can be very easy to assume just because you got a piece of the puzzle, you know the whole picture. There is often so much more going on than meets the eye. If you find yourself struggling to understand someone, take the time to pray for them while also asking Holy Spirit to search your own heart. Giving the gift of understanding takes time. 

3.) You must be willing to be humble. 

The gift of understanding is only able to be assembled with the tool of humility. We are encouraged in scripture to not think too highly of ourselves and to honor others above ourselves. The gift of understanding is one that's given with a bowed knee. We may not always want to take the time or leave our comfort zone, but when we view our life in light of the mercies of Christ, we soon realize that it's level ground at the foot of the cross. We are reminded that "we were not much when we were called" and that if it weren't for the Lord being patient with us in our sin, flaws, and shortcomings, where would we be? The least you can do is show mercy as you've been shown it. 

While you may not always leave the matter fully resolved or seeing eye to eye, to show up with understanding instead of strife is a gift. Often times it's simply your willingness to show up no matter how uncomfortable that God will use to continue to shape and mold you until Christ is formed in you. 

So many people have learned to live with their guards up because it became too painful to be misunderstood. This season, when you're tempted to turn on defense mode, ask Holy Spirit for the help to give understanding instead. 

Back to blog