How Do You Receive a Gift?

by Deirdre Mansel
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8,9, KJV).
The holiday season is behind us once again. The presents have been unwrapped and another year will soon begin. Each year seems to go by quicker than the last. For many of us, our busy lives are complicated by work, children’s and/or church activities and a whirlwind of other responsibilities.
Many times in the past, I have been guilty of not taking the time to express thanks to those who have given gifts, hospitality, or time. Each day seemed to pass by faster and faster and the events slipped into distant memory. The precious gift is not forgotten; however, the gracious act of sending a note of thanks is left undone.
As a mother of two young girls, I also have the responsibility of teaching them good manners and the finer points of growing into gracious ladies. The example, then, must be set for them, as any good parent leads and teaches not only in word but in example.
As a gracious lady, expressing appreciation is of utmost importance. This involves receiving gifts graciously with thanks and praise for the individual offering the gift. Most have the good grace to say “thank you,” when receiving a gift.
It is also appropriate to give more than thanks upon receiving a gift. A gift is a part of an individual and must be treated with gentleness. A compliment for the tastes and talents of the gift giver tells the person how well the gift was received and appreciated.
With a new year ahead, many of us turn our thoughts to resolutions that will develop character and improve the quality of our lives. This New Year’s Day, our family will continue a tradition we began several years ago. Together, we will take the time to thank those who have given us gifts during the holiday season with a note of thanks while sending prayers for blessings for those we love in the year ahead. I encourage you to consider making similar changes. I have found that we don’t have time to do the things we need to do. Instead, we must simply take it, by setting aside a block of time for those things we consider important. Certainly, expressing thanks is a task of lasting importance. In an age when many common courtesies are falling by the wayside, it is necessary that we teach our young people to grow into tomorrow’s leaders, possessing a love for one another.
Of course, most of all, we must express thanks to our Father who has made it all possible.
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Deirdre is the wife of columnist Richard Mansel and is pursuing a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.

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