The Perfect Gift
by Brian Goins
Is it number one on the list you sent out to friends and family? Do you, like my kids, believe your chances of getting what you really want increase when you decorate an item with emoticons?
But who needs lists? We simply buy the perfect gift, text a picture of it to a friend or spouse, and say, “Thanks for getting me my Christmas present, you can wrap it when I get home.”
On Christmas morning we divide gifts into two piles:
- The good gifts: beneficial but hardly worth showing our friends (socks, gum, toothpaste, free car wash gift certificates)
- The perfect gifts: the ones we wait to open last (all-inclusive vacations, anything with a diamond in it, or something that has an “i” before the word)
God loves to fill our stockings with “good and perfect gifts:”
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:16-17).
“The Father of Lights” refers to God as Creator. The one who created us knows us. So he gives us “good gifts”: food, friends, promotions, fun experiences, great parents.
And he gives us “perfect gifts.”
If you’re like me, through the years I’ve had plenty of “perfect gift” ideas: from G.I. Joes to a new car to paying off an old car to a 2nd generation ipad. But my bright, and often expensive, ideas have little do with the Bible.
Whenever you see the word “perfect” in Scripture it means, “Attaining an end or a purpose, complete, meeting the highest standard.” The Apostle Paul says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (perfection) at the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Unlike our friends, God doesn’t need a text showing him the “perfect gift.” He crafts his gifts to complete us.
Sometimes those gifts are pleasant: salvation, the Holy Spirit, spiritual gift. Sometimes those gifts are painful: a convicting friend, sickness, suffering,
One thing is certain; the Father of Lights is consistent. “There is no variation or shifting shadow.” Every good and perfect gift he gives us to unwrap is designed to help us look and act like the one we celebrate this season.