New Man

Want to receive New Man by email? Sign up here
Gift card
(janoon028)

Holidays, birthdays and special occasions are celebrated differently by everyone. But all have at least one thing in common—gifts!

Whether given in surprise or on the heels of great anticipation, as adults we simply love to give gifts. Receiving them, on the other hand, can be challenging.

Sure, there are things we’d love to have or do—things we dream about—if time and expense were not a factor. It’s fun to imagine, but in the day to day, for most of us, what matters more than getting what we’d liked to have is receiving what we actually get with grace.

Because as beings created by God to be givers, we long to give back something better than we’ve received, such as affirmation and the joyful satisfaction of approval.

However, today the chances are greater than ever that what we find under the tree or stashed in a favorite pocket is much more difficult to receive with grace or to give back such winning approval with integrity.

The reason is delicate but fairly simple: Gifts that once originated out of love with hours spent on their selection have gradually become high-pressured obligations that can only be remedied by efficiency. As a result, we now prefer the almighty gift card. By rationalizing its mutual benefits, we find immediate relief from the stress of time wasted shopping or making stealthy returns.

It's sad but true, but as of last year, trend reports show that gift cards were requested more often than any other type of gift purchase. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, a whopping 80 percent of holiday shoppers each spent an average of $155 on gift cards. But who’s complaining? By offering such great flexibility, the cost savings in time and effort alone are well worth the lack of personal touch, right?

Perhaps so, but by taking a closer look, we can more clearly see that our newfound efficiency often comes with a hidden price tag—a potentially significant one for such a negligible amount of added convenience. It has also been reported that last year, consumers lost more than $2 billion on gift cards that were purchased but never used.

Could it be that by making life a little more convenient, we are simply wasting our money on top of the wasted opportunity to meaningfully touch the life of a loved one? By definition, this is nothing more than a waste of gifts for all involved.

A More Significant Waste

Another bundle of wasted gifts, one that isn’t measured by statistics or reported on by the media, is the type with exponentially more value than seasonal trinkets. These are the gifts that God has actually taken time to select with great intention and given to each of us specifically:

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet. 4:10, NASB).

We can all agree that our yearning for significance is perhaps the best indicator that God created us with a purpose—something He simply wouldn’t do without also giving us the elemental components, or “gifts,” to carry it out. So why do we exhaust ourselves searching for what He obviously wants us to know and employ? Could it be for the very same reason we fail to use those gift cards?

Absolutely! We’ve learned to overlook and ultimately waste what we’ve been given by assigning it too little value in the day-to-day scurry toward worldly success—something we refer to as “reality.” As a result, His plan is shoved to the side like an unopened box in a dark little corner of our identity, while sitting quietly there, waiting to be unleashed, are purpose, passion and the deeper reality of lasting significance.

In part 2 of "The Unopened Gift," we’ll take a look at some of the common ways we inadvertently overlook what we’ve been given and end up missing the mark—the true calling God has assigned to each of us individually—and how to receive it with grace for the benefit of others.

Guy Hatcher—known as the Legacy Guy—has spent his lifetime helping families plan their legacy. A certified financial planner, Guy has been a leader in the wealth management industry, which has allowed him to have over "10,000 Kitchen Table Conversations.” His new book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is now available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or go to guyhatcher.com.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit