This is the Christmas season, the time of the year when we think about gifts–the ones we wish for, the ones we plan to give, and, of course, the greatest Gift ever given. The gift God gave us, His only begotten Son, makes all the other gifts meaningful. Jesus the Christ is the embodiment of truth, love and right relationship between God and man. By His life, death and resurrection, he showed us how to live and function according to God’s will.
Sometimes we use this season as an opportunity to bless (or perhaps “indulge” is the right word) ourselves with gifts as we bless the ones we love.
As we shop for our loved ones we might find the perfect little something that we’ve been desiring and throw it into our basket, saying “I deserve this,” or “I’ve been wanting this for a while and I doubt anyone else will get it for me.” There is nothing inherently wrong with that.
However, how often do we give ourselves the gifts we really need, the things no one else is able to give to us in the same way?
How often do we examine closely and honestly our lives–our attitudes, our habits, our strengths and weaknesses, the ways we treat ourselves and others–to expose areas of need where focused effort would make our lives better, then act on what we find.
If we give ourselves that gift, an honest self-evaluation, which doesn’t ignore, minimize or gloss over our deficiencies, we are then ready to receive and appreciate another gift we can bestow on ourselves: a plan to improve.
A word of caution is in order. These gifts are costly, not in necessarily in financial wealth, but in psychological and spiritual resources. Intense, truthful self-examination can empty your “emotional bank account” for a time. However, as with any good gift, it will lead to great benefits that are worth more than the price we paid.
In this way, it is like the savings bond our great aunt gave as a Christmas gift. In the moment, it isn’t terribly exciting and we might even feel disappointment, but when the bond matures we receive a blessing.
We gain from the gift two ways: first, the principle and interest combine to make the payoff greater than the initial expense, and second, our character is improved by the process of waiting for the bond to mature. In this way, the gift of intense self-assessment that we give ourselves compounds the returns.
This season, as we celebrate Christ and bless each other, let us not refrain from blessing ourselves. Lets us take time to look closely and honestly at ourselves and willingly pay the price for that gift. By so doing, we can take a step toward being more functional humans.
To read the first blog: Functional Human blog, No. 1
To read the latest blog: Functional Human Blog No. 10 GoalsFollow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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