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A Message for the Gift-Giver (And Yes, That's You)

Some people have the gift of giving gifts. One of my O&Ds (oldest and dearest) has proved it time and time again, most recently when she gave me the beautiful **Cinder-themed** candle featured in this post's photo.

Chatting about it, we both agreed that gift-giving should be a thoughtful art. A gift for the sake of a gift means very little, while a gift given with thought for the recipient's personality is almost always meaningful.

The same rules apply to our intangible gifts. A better word might be "talents."

It can be a difficult line to walk as Christians in creative career paths. Authors, filmmakers, artists, musicians all feel the pressure to produce content that people will enjoy while also being convicted to produce content that will edify. The problem is, explicitly Christian content is often pigeon-holed and shoved in a corner somewhere for only Christians to find. For those of us trying to reach those outside of Christ, that can feel like a destination to avoid at all costs.

But the pendulum can swing too far the other way. Children of Christ sometimes choose to use their gifts in ways that are not necessarily harmful, but not Christ-honouring either. In that way, the gifts God gives us can become . . . neutralized. Substanceless. Good for a laugh or some temporary entertainment, not much else. Kind of like that one birthday gift you chuckle at when you open, then stuff in the closet after that.

God equips us with the ability to share our gifts with others, but we are to do it thoughtfully. That doesn't mean necessarily that creators need to be overbearing or heavy-handed in their content—I believe very strongly in being cunning as a serpent and harmless as a dove in content-making, and sometimes that means being more subtle and selective with our messaging than straightforward and repetitive.

But. It does mean that we need to be honest with ourselves. To examine our motives while using the gifts God gave us. To ask ourselves if we are putting the spiritual thought into gift-giving that He asks of us.

To whom much is given, much will be required. ~Luke 12:48

Let's search for avenues to share our God-given gifts with others in ways that will truly last.

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