Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-11 (MSG)…
Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
I can’t tell you how many different places I’ve seen the following list. It seems like versions of it pop up everywhere. No one seems to know who the author is, either. Nevertheless, it’s a list worth reflecting on. There are gifts on this list that you can give to others. There are also gifts that you can give to yourself. No matter who the recipient is, why not give out a few well deserved gifts today?
- The gift of listening… But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response, just listening.
- The gift of affection… Be generous with proper hugs, kisses, pats on the back. Let these small actions show the love you have for family and friends.
- The gift of laughter… Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”
- The gift of a written note… It might be a simple “Thanks for the help” note, or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note is often remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
- The gift of a compliment… A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.
- The gift of a favor… Every day go out of your way to do something kind.
- The gift of solitude… There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
- The gift of a cheerful disposition… The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone; really it’s not that hard to say “hello” or “thank you”.
This list seems to offer a practical way of being the blessing to one another. Go ahead, be a blessing today!
Blessings to all,
Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner