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Letter to the Editor: Accept God's gift without hesitation

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Twice now I have heard the phrase “Don’t steal my joy.” The first time was when my wife told me someone had said that to her when she hesitated to accept a gift.

Having never heard that before, I thought it was kind of an interesting response. Then the other day I was talking to a good friend who actually said the same thing to me: “Don’t steal my joy.” He was thanking me and trying to give me credit for playing a role in something big in his life and I was trying to downplay my part in it. So he told me “Don’t steal my joy” — the same exact phrase I had only heard once before. Coincidence?

That got me thinking. About gifts. Why does it sometimes make us feel uncomfortable when someone offers us a “gift?” It could be a present, food, a compliment or something as simple as an invitation. Why do we sometimes have a hard time accepting “gifts” — graciously? Is it because we feel like we don’t deserve it? Or maybe it creates a feeling of obligation — now I have to do something nice for them in return.

Gifts usually require some sort of sacrifice on the part of the giver. It could be time, talent, money ... or something else. On the other hand, gifts are usually given without an expectation of something in return. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be considered a gift. Why? Gifts are usually given out of love — to show someone we care about them. Do we weigh the person’s good deeds (or bad deeds) first to determine if they deserve the gift? If they had earned it? Of course not. If you have to work for a gift, or “earn” it, again, it wouldn’t really be a gift, would it?

So, what is the greatest gift that’s ever been given? Who is it from? Why? What was the cost? Who is it available it to? Is it deserved? Is it earned? What is the catch? What is the benefit?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to the end that all who believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Each of us — you and me — have been given a free gift. All we have to do is reach out and take it.

So to anyone who may be on the fence, I pose a question: Do you really want to steal God’s joy?

Neill Nelson

Rocky Mount

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