Christmas is about giving. We search high and low – Macy’s, Amazon, specialized boutiques, the local Mall – for the elusive perfect gift. We scour everywhere looking for the gift that will put a smile on our friends and families faces. But before you bundle up in your coat, scarves, and gloves, and brave the weather and holiday shoppers, allow me to share with you a gift idea that you can give throughout the year. It’s a gift that everyone wants but no one deserves. It is truly a one size fit all gift. It is perhaps in the top three of greatest gifts ever given to mankind.
It is the gift of “No Condemnation.”
2000 years ago, the greatest gift ever was given – Jesus. We have the pleasure of regifting Him to others daily but often we forget the gift within the gift. The Bible says that Jesus brought the gift of no condemnation with Him.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 NIV
The word condemn means to pronounce judgment, to separate, to put asunder, to call into question, to damn.
So am I suggesting that we allow people to treat us anyway they want? Of course not. How did Jesus give the gift of no condemnation? He looked at people and saw who they were called to be and treated them accordingly.
He saw a dishonest and despised tax collector as a disciple and writer of the Gospel.
He saw a woman living with a man to whom she was not married as an evangelist.
He saw an impetuous fisherman as a future leader of the church.
He saw a woman caught in the act of adultery as a woman who had the ability to change her ways.
As we gather together this Christmas season, as we sit around the table with friends and loved ones, let us give freely this gift of “No Condemnation.” Let us not see others through their past mistakes, their bad choices, or their current sin. Let us see the man or woman God has called them to be and remind them of who they truly are.
Now wait a minute, before you go out and give this beautiful gift to others, I want you to do me a favor. Look in the mirror and give yourself this gift first. Don’t see the person who lost it with their kids yesterday, or the person whose marriage failed, or the person who had an abortion, or the person who drank too much at last year’s Christmas party. See yourself as Jesus sees you. Righteous. Holy. Blameless. Son. Daughter. Valuable. Accepted. Loved.
Let us freely give away this gift of “No Condemnation” to everyone we encounter and pray that it is regifted over and over again.