Thinking Out Loud

December 28, 2018

“20 Years Ago A Book Changed My Life”

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:55 am

“20 years ago my boss gave me a book which totally changed my life.”

You’ve possibly heard stories which began with this narrative. The person is describing where their life is at presently, but the story’s genesis is that time someone in their life gave them a particular book to read.

The problem with these stories is that we hear them from the perspective of the recipient, but don’t always know about the intentionality of the giver, or the circumstances where the two peoples’ lives intersected which motivated them to make the gift.

I am convinced that more lives would be changed if we all could cultivate that intentionality and follow through on that motivation.

Sadly, many of the gifts given this Christmas are already forgotten, discarded or even broken. I believe there are products which can make an impact beyond this life, and that hearts can be changed by the words in a book, the lyrics of a song, a scene in a Christian film, and of course, by the message of the Bible itself.

But this isn’t a blanket promotion for the Christian giftware or Christian publishing industry. The item given has to be selected based on an informed choice and it must be personal to the situation the recipient is facing and any particular needs they have expressed.

It also has to have substance. Giving a friend a mug which simply says, “Believe:” may work in a small percentage of situations, but it’s not the same as giving something more substantial; something that has a message beyond a vague platitude.

This may take effort. This may take research. This may take prayerful consideration.

This may also take a willingness to be there for the person involved; a follow-up that is committed to the long term. The potential outcome — a person’s salvation story — has to be in view from before the gift is selected.

Done right, it can lead to stories as expressed in today’s headline. Then it’s a win-win for both giver and recipient.

Today’s key words:

  • intentional
  • motivation
  • informed
  • personal
  • substance
  • follow-up

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