Nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. (1 Tim. 4:4)

One of my all-time favorite Christmas presents was a Winchester pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. I was a teenager, and this firearm was my first. I came from a hunting family and this gift was a rite of passage. I still remember the humbling awe of holding that weapon for the first time. I knew that I held an incredibly powerful gift in my hands. Decades later, I still have that gun, and it’s still special to me. Yet, I am very careful to keep it locked, and to use it with caution.

Our heavenly Father gives us many good gifts throughout life. Some of them have the potential to be used for greatness, but could also bring devastation. Our sexuality is one such gift. We can use it as God intended, which brings joy and connection, or we can misuse it, resulting in pain. Money is another example. It is good or bad, depending on how we use it. Some people have seen the damage that is caused by misused gifts and respond by rejecting the gift altogether. “Better not to have it than to be hurt by it,” they think. But God wants us to receive all his good gifts with a grateful heart, and use them in ways that will honor him and bring life to ourselves and others.

Thank God for a good gift he has given you.

Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway Church, in Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.