I recently read these profound words by Paul Tripp:
“It’s so easy to be an identity amnesiac. It’s so easy to forget who you are in Christ and what you have been given as God’s child. It’s so easy to shop horizontally for what we have already been given vertically.”
During this season, it’s easy to get caught up in “shopping until we drop” for the perfect gifts to give. But Tripp is talking about a different kind of shopping. He’s referencing our fallen hearts’ natural desire to shop for things to satisfy our cravings for security, comfort, love, acceptance, value, approval, and reputation. When we shop horizontally for these things, we pay a high price, and they never deliver on their advertisers’ promises. Instead, they turn out to be cheap substitutes for what our hearts long for most.
But what if Tripp is right? What if we have already been given vertically a perfect, full, rich gift? One that eclipses all others and fully satisfies our hungry hearts? The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”
This beautiful truth is echoed in the songs of this season. “How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the wonders of His heaven.”
The Father has given the Son. This most wondrous of vertical gifts frees us from shopping horizontally for lesser things. Receiving the gift of Jesus frees us to give lavishly from our abundance in Him.
On behalf of the Women Doing Well family, we wish you the greatest of all Christmas gifts. We wish you Jesus, rest in Him, and the joy of sharing Him with others. “Praise be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)