Over 40 years ago I first read a reflection called ‘Persons are gifts’. It contains much wisdom about valuing my giftedness and the giftedness of those around me. From time to time I would share the reflection in my ministry, especially with Year 12 students.
You may have had the joy and comedy of watching a child under 1 open a present. For those who have tried hard to buy the gift it can be very deflating – as all they are interested in is the wrapping with its colours and sparkles.
Before we laugh too hard at the baby’s behaviour, it struck me that teenagers and adults can treat the gift of another person in a similar way – too busy making judgments about the externals to focus on the gifted person inside.
So, in our relationships, let’s not get too focused on externals – in ourselves or others. Rather may I focus on my giftedness, lovingly placed there by God, as well as the God-given giftedness of each person in my life.
This will take the form of being kind to myself and others – as well as compassionate and accepting. Thus, our salvation comes in community through the loving character of our relationships.