Giving out of obligation or love

I love to wrap Christmas presents even if I get glitter from the ribbon all over my rug. However, sometimes as I wrap there are gifts I feel indignant about giving. Sadly, this is true and I’m confessing this before you. There are people in my life at times whom I’ve felt obligated to give a gift to and not truly felt I was giving from my heart. Maybe you have felt this way too. I know some people in history have given from places other than the heart. Anyone remember the gift of the Trojan Horse? I also read recently a story about Robert Redford sending Paul Newman a totaled Porshe for his 50th birthday. Paul re-gifted it back to Robert as a compacted piece of metal. I’m not sure what was behind this situation, but it seems a little spite may be underlying.

Maybe you have decided not to give a person who has hurt you a gift or you’ve decided to not show up to a family event or gathering with friends due to your hurt. It is tough to give to those you feel have wronged you or wronged your family and friends in some way. I am definitely not advocating that you give something such as the Trojan horse to this person! Let me encourage you by sharing something God showed me as I wrapped presents this year.

This year, God showed me as I was wrapping one of gifts I wasn’t super excited to give that He knew I was struggling to give to a certain person and He understood. He then reminded me that He gave the most precious gift of all, wrapped in the most innocent package to people who have hurt him and wronged him beyond belief. This includes me. I’m a sinner, I have hurt God, wronged him, and I deserved to die eternally because of my sin against God. It doesn’t matter how small or great the sin, it all separates us from God. However, out of His great love, God sent his son, Jesus, as a gift to us. Jesus then died in our place to pay our penalty. I don’t think it was easy for God to send his son to die for a world full of sinners. However, he wrapped the best gift of all time in the most precious   package, a baby! If God can do this for me, then I need to change my attitude about giving to people who hurt or frustrate me also. Give because you’ve been given the chance to spend eternity with God. He will right all wrongs, we don’t have to…so have peace during the season and give from your heart!

Merry Christmas,

Dr. Atwell

John 3:16-18 (Message)

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.



  1. hendrickmotorsports on December 12, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Great words, thank you!

    Donnie Floyd
    Chaplain / CFMI
    Motor Racing Outreach
    Hendrick Motorsports
    704-458-6578 C
    704-455-0697 0
    “God has a plan, we just need to trust Him.”