August 18, 2017

Spiritual Wish Lists

What’s on your Christmas list this year? No, not your wish list, the other one. You know, the {long} list of things that your kids want, the {really short} list of ideas from your spouse, the fun list of things you’d like to get for your friends or extended family…

I’m guessing they’re all things. But things aren’t what matters most in their lives. Why do we focus so much on tangible things we can buy or make, that only last a lifetime at most, and quite often only a few years or even months. Why do we spend so much time and energy procuring stuff for the people we really care about?

Sure, it’s fun to go shopping for others. I love figuring out gifts for my family and friends, little things they mention in casual conversation, and surprising them with those things for Christmas. But what about what they truly need, not just what they want?

Can I make a few suggestions for this year?

  • Write down some favorite “comfort” verses on pretty index cards. Put them on a key ring or inside a little box. Great stocking stuffer idea!
  • Write out a heartfelt prayer for the recipient and share it as an expression of your care and love for their souls.
  • Write out some of the prayers of Paul, substituting your loved one’s name for the generic “you” {such as, I thank my God for every remembrance of Susie Q). Share these with them in a pretty notebook or journal.
  • Make coupons for your kids for “one-on-one prayer/praise time.” And be ready and willing to give that time whenever asked (no matter how “inconvenient” it may seem at the moment!). It will be a blessing to both of you, and will teach them firsthand about making time to minister to others.
  • Arrange for your child to start being mentored by a mature Christian whom they already love and respect (and whom you respect as well).
  • Take your friend/kid/family member to a good Christian bookstore (or website) and let them pick out any Christian nonfiction book to help them in their spiritual growth. Don’t think about the pricetag; the spiritual blessings will outweigh any financial sacrifice you make for them.
  • Check their Bible. Is it old and falling apart? Can you fix it or do they need a new one? How about a study Bible, or even a different translation?
  • Consider giving a nice notebook or journal for taking notes during church, personal Bible study, or prayer time.
  • Start your own prayer journal, and let people know you are praying for them and ask what specific requests they may have. Keep up with them, and with your intercession for them.
  • Become one-on-one prayer partners with a friend or relative. Make sure you are faithful about meeting regularly (in person or even on the phone) and praying together. You will both be blessed by it!
  • Write a heartfelt plea for your unsaved loved one to know Jesus personally. Don’t preach, but share your salvation testimony and make sure the good news of salvation is clearly explained. Deliver in person, if possible.

The key is to focus on the “wish list” of the soul rather than of the body. Sure, go ahead and fill those stockings with toys and candy and games. But include some soul-food, some sweets for the spirit, and some spiritual challenges for the mind. Minister to the unseen desires, the needs that often get overlooked or ignored. Share your prayers and your time, not just your money. Let their needs fill and burden and overwhelm your heart, so you can offer a gift that has a truly lasting benefit.

How are you meeting the spiritual needs of someone this Christmas? How do you wish someone could meet your spiritual needs?