Gift Exchange

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

Christmas in America is synonymous with the exchange of gifts. Often the gift giving begins with shopping. “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) got its name from the retail industry. So many people made Christmas shopping a priority after Thanksgiving that large stores moved from the red (loss) to black (profit) on the day after Thanksgiving year after year. Thus the name, “Black Friday.” Shopping is just the tip of the iceberg for many, however, since wrapping and delivering or mailing the gifts often takes as much time and energy as the shopping.

Have you ever given a gift that was not appreciated? Of course, we all have, but that should not mean that we stop giving gifts. Did God stop giving when the world rejected His gift? No, He continues to give, even to the person that does not appreciate Him. Matthew 5:45(b) …for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Why do we spend so much time and energy to exchange gifts at Christmas? Pragmatism would say that if you spend money on me and I spend money on you, shouldn’t we just write each other a check so we can both get what we want? And if you take it a step further, calculate the difference in the expense of the gifts and only give the difference to the one that receives the more expensive gift! That takes all the fun out of it, though, because much of the enjoyment in gift exchanges is thinking about someone else and trying to imagine what will be the best gift for them. It is great fun and a wonderful tradition based on God’s greatest gift, His own Son, as a Savior to the world.

  • We give gifts because we love others. God gave us Christ because of His love for the world.
    • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • We give gifts to meet the needs of others. Many times we can give something to someone that they could not get for themselves, even as God gave us salvation that we cannot earn.
    • Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • We give gifts to the undeserving because of our love, just as God did for us.
    • Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • We also receive a blessing as we give, according to Jesus.
    • Acts 20:35 … remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  • We should be generous with our gifts, as God is.
    • Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?