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Gift Wrapping Hot Take

Confession: I despise wrapping gifts even though I can do it well when I make an effort. In all honesty though, I find that wrapping presents is grossly overrated. What’s wrong with simply finding the finest Wal-Mart bag that resides under the sink in my kitchen, and presenting it that way?

Over the years I have observed gifts that were eloquently wrapped with ribbon and bow. Others, while still tastefully wrapped, were a bit less ascetically pleasing. The remaining appeared to be a product of my school of thinking in regards to presentation; you know the, “Hey here’s a bag to stuff it in” approach.

Something that has not escaped my attention was that each of these gifts had something in common. When the inevitable stampede was loosed upon them, hardly a person has stopped to gaze upon the wrapping and allow the ascetics, good or bad, to stop them from wanting to obtain what was inside.

We simply want what is contained in the box. Those items that were hidden undercover and out of their sight. The concealment of the gifts adds to intrigue and anticipation. The type of intrigue and anticipation that can make even the cheapest of gifts desirable.


I am convinced we are far to concerned with wrapping. If we are to look at this through a lens of how we function God’s church, I can’t help but wonder if we have become to obsessed with the wrapping that we use to present the Truth.

As a church it is Biblical truth: solid, un-compromising, truth that should be our focus and drive everything we do. The challenge has always been presenting the Truth in a way that is not only accurate, but easily received by those whom we are communicating it to.

In attempts to aid in this, we sometimes tend to wrap the truth like a gift. A wrapped box is far more attractive than a plain cardboard box would be. Not only that, but the way that we are wired, our eyes are immediately drawn to wrapped gifts over regular boxes via instinct and not choice.

Here’s my point

As a church, I do not believe that it is wrong to “wrap” our message of Truth. I do not believe that it is wrong to want the Truth to appeal to people in its presentation. As long as Truth is still the main focus and content of the package.

If the only content to the gifts we give is wrapping paper, boxes and bags, then there were, truly, no gifts exchanged at all. There was nothing given that was of true value to those who received.

We must make sure that the same scenario does not happen week in and week out in our churches. Where we offer a fairly attractive product in the way that it is wrapped but is without substance. If that is what is happening then we are failing to deliver what is truly valuable. And whether they say anything or not, or even realize it immediately or not, people will walk away unchanged because the wrapping will make no lasting impact on their lives.

As His ambassadors, this cannot continue. We are to be known by love that has changed us. We are to be known for the grace and mercy that is experienced together. We are to be known by an un-compromising message of the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, I get it.... Truly I do. Wrapping can be something that adds to our gifts. There seems to be very few things that are more calming and peaceful than a cold December night at home with those you love, sitting in front of a well lit tree, and seeing beautifully wrapped presents underneath.

However, if we truly care for those for whom these gifts are marked, the wrapping and the containers they are in will be the things that we are least concerned with, while the content within will truly be the gift that we give.

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