Donna Lehman is a free-lance writer living in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dear Struggling Christian,

You have asked me, "What can I give Christ for Christmas?" You say, "I have so little to give."

My friend, God has given each person certain gifts to share. May I suggest some presents you can give?

You say, "I feel naked and ugly, for Christ has seen my sin." Be thankful that you have recognized your sin and your need for cleansing. You have begun a new life with Christ, thus you are beautiful in Him. God knows your beauty because He created you. Allow Him to clothe you with His righteousness, and accept yourself as you are. That is your gift to yourself this Christmas.

"I'm trying to forgive certain people in my past, but I cannot forget their actions," you cry. Do not stumble on your past, my friend. God buried those hurts in the deepest parts of the sea when you asked Christ to forgive you. Why are you trying to keep old memories alive? I can help you only with today's problems, for the path we are following leads us to future days. Do not hold resentment in you. That is your gift to your family this Christmas.

You think, "I have made so many mistakes in my life. I thought I was making right decisions and helping people, but now I see my actions were wrong and hurt others." Because you were not a Christian then, my friend, you could not know right answers. Just think, when you have been a Christian for as many years as you were not a Christian, then you will be able to count as many right decisions as wrong ones. You wish for those numbers to be equal today, but that is not possible. Begin to balance those numbers today by serving fellow Christians. That is your gift to your church this Christmas.

You tell me, "Other persons have more ability to help people than I." My friend, believe me when I say that I feel this same ability within you. I see this powerful light in your face. You cannot see the light, although it is helping all who walk with you to see the narrow path their feet are following. Trust God, that He is supplying you power. That is your gift to the world this Christmas.

You say, "You have more gifts to share than I." My friend, Christmas is the time for all Christians to give what they have in honor of Christ. Do not expect your gifts to be the same as my gifts. Your unique life will be built ac cording to Christ's gifts and plan for you. The greatest gift we can give one another is love. That is your gift to me this Christmas.

My friend, if you are really eager to give, it is not important how much you give. God expects you to give what you have, not what you have not (see 2 Cor. 8:12).

Merry Christmas!

Your friend, a fellow Christian

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Donna Lehman is a free-lance writer living in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

December 1978

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