This past weekend, as our family gathered to soak in the last days of summer, I found my kids working on their Christmas lists. Yes, you read that correctly. It is September, and my kids are already planning ahead for one of their favorite times of the year. What struck me as I listened to them, however, was not the fact that they were making their lists. No, what struck me, was the fact that my kids were not only making a list of those items they’d love to receive, but also those items they would love to give others. You see, as much as my kids love receiving presents at Christmas, they get almost as excited in finding the perfect gift to give each person in our family. My kids love to give gifts to others.
As I was thinking about this, I was reminded that giving gifts to others doesn’t have to be a seasonal thing. Every day, we have opportunities to give others gifts. Sometimes these gifts take on physical forms, but, other times, the most precious gifts we can give others look more like the gift our time, the gift of our patience, or the gift of our willingness to listen. We can give the gift of understanding, forgiveness, or encouragement.
Ephesians 4:29 reminds us that our words can also be a gift.
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
Ephesians 4:29 (MSG)
Every day, we have an opportunity to use our words as a gift. We can use them to support, encourage, and build others up, or we can use them to hurt, discourage, and tear others down. Our words can bring peace. Our words can also stir up fear.
As you walk through your day today, I would encourage you to remember that your words can be a gift. Use them wisely; use them well.