Last week Kurt did a wonderful post entitled Don’t Waste Your Christmas Get-togethers in which he referenced a post by CJ and encouraged us to consider how to speak with our families this holiday. CJ’s post from the day entitled A Gift Idea was very provocative and put the finger on one of my weak spots.
So often I arrive at the holiday season behind schedule and distracted. By the time I think about the people that I will be with, I am saying goodbye to them! Days later I berate myself for all the missed opportunities. CJ’s words brought a sweet conviction to my heart. They also stirred faith that this year could be different. Here are his words:
Buying the appropriate Christmas gift for someone requires that we know and study them. But this is no less true of our conversations. So as you consider certain individuals, and seek to buy meaningful gifts for them, also consider how you can give them grace through your words.
His words challenged me to consider the people I will be seeing on Christmas day and to work hard to study them in advance so that I can give them a gift of words. He went on to give very practical advice:
Consideration for one we are conversing with must inform our words. So before I speak I must observe and listen. I must ask questions. I must take an interest in them.
- If they are Christians, are there evidences of grace I can draw their attention to?
- If they are not Christians, are there evidences of common grace in their life?
- Is this person experiencing prosperity?
- Or is this person experiencing adversity?
- If they are suffering I want to give them comforting grace through my words.
- If they are weary, I want to give them sustaining grace through my words.
- And to all, when and where appropriate, I want to share the gospel, for that is the most effective way to give grace through my words.
I am thinking ahead and hope to give the gift of words in addition to my Christmas gifts.