What do you think of the practice of returning gifts? I’m not talking about not accepting them, but about taking them to the store where they were bought and getting something else. Something you really like. I think this practice should be generally avoided. We ought to, at least, teach our children to be grateful for whatever gifts they receive at Christmas or a birthday (anytime, for that matter). Now as we get older and accumulate more stuff, it gets more difficult to find something that is a “good” gift for someone; and because we are human and don’t know everything or have infinite resources, we sometimes get something that could appropriately be returned. That must be some of the impetus behind the huge gift card frenzy. Let them get what they want.
There is a distinct problem with a Christian who tries to return or not accept God’s gifts. We SAY that we understand that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we think He should, but we often act otherwise. We will pray for something for a long time; then God answers our prayer and even gives us what we’ve asked for (though perhaps in a form we didn’t initially expect); but we continue to pray as if we’ve not gotten the gift God gave us. It’s as if we say, “No God, I don’t like that gift. Give me a different one.” We must learn to recognize God’s gifts in our lives and accept them as his will for our lives. He does have infinite knowledge and unlimited resources, and He knows what we need best and can supply it however He would like.
***Originally posted January of 2006