1 Peter 3:8-9 – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Christmas season is upon us again and as we celebrate the greatest gift given to us, the birth of our savior, we remind ourselves of this blessing through the giving of gifts to others. Of course, this tradition changes the older we are. I remember looking forward to this gift receiving tradition as a child, hoping for all of the gifts circled in the Target catalog. My wife often tells of when she was in sixth grade and put sticky notes all over her house, reminding her parents of how she desperately wanted an iPod Nano for Christmas.
As we grow older, we find ourselves on the other side of gift giving. Though my wife and I still give one another a small list, I find myself much more excited to surprise my wife with gifts not on her list. Instead of looking forward to what I am receiving, I find myself excited about the surprises awaiting my wife beneath the (poorly) wrapped festive paper. As we mature, we find ourselves more excited about the giving instead of the receiving. There is no greater joy than to be able to bless those we love.
To the Christian, the joy of blessing one another is not meant to be limited to one day of the year. Peter tells us that as Christians, we are always meant to bless others. When we live in the body of Christ, we should be constantly looking for ways to bless one another, to love one another, to serve one another.
Circling the Target catalog and sticking “reminder” notes around the house is cute when someone is a child. As an adult, this behavior is reprehensible. In the same way the young Christian needs milk and the mature Christian meat, our ability to bless should change as well. Do we look at our brothers and sisters in Christ and think about ways we can bless them or do we see them as people to bless us? When we see the “Jesus Fish” on the side of the plumber’s truck, do we see a discount or do we see someone we can give more to? When we see ministries at the church, do we see ways we can be served or do we see opportunities to serve others? Are we looking to bless others in our regular daily life?
May we find ourselves practicing blessing others this Christmas, allowing this habit to carry us the rest of the year as well.