Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Wedding anniversaries are important occasions to remember. Husbands are always looking for ways to be sure to remember the occasion and to find the right gift to mark the anniversary.
Surveys have been done to determine some of the worst gifts that men can give their wives on their wedding anniversary. Men would be well advised to keep the information below in mind!
One of the highest-ranked bad anniversary gifts is exercise equipment. Even though his wife might have mentioned wanting said equipment, it is not a good idea to get it as a gift. It can send the message: you need to get into better shape. That isn’t a good message to send on your anniversary.
Another gift to avoid: Men should not give gifts to their wives just because their mom liked it. A man should not assume that his wife and his mom will have the same tastes. Not only that, but it is best to avoid comparisons between mom and wife at all times, especially when it comes to gifts.
Also, men need to keep in mind that it isn’t a good idea to buy a gift they want. “Oh, you aren’t sure when you will use this new bandsaw? No problem. I’ll put it out in the shop and see if I can find a use for it.” Enjoy the couch, buddy.
Finally, and probably the worst gift: nothing. It doesn’t matter how good the “What really matters is love…” speech is. A man who does nothing to commemorate his wedding anniversary will certainly find himself in the doghouse, and rightly so!
These bad gifts are humorous because, on the one hand, it is hard to imagine who would buy such gifts. On the other hand, we all know poor guys who have made these mistakes or mistakes like them. Bad gifts send the message (even if unintentionally) that the relationship isn’t valued as it should be. The issue isn’t the gift. The issue is that the gift reflects the attitude of the giver to the recipient.
This is precisely what is going on in Malachi’s day as the people came to worship God. God told them that they were dishonoring Him and even despising His name. The people wondered how that was possible. They were going to the temple when told. They brought offerings and gifts. They were following the rules.
God says this to them in Malachi 1:7-8, “By offering polluted food upon my altar…When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.”
God makes a very simple comparison: try treating their Governor the way they are treating Him and see what happens. He knew that if they offered the Governor the same offerings that they were bringing to Him, their gifts would have been rejected! Then, they would have faced the difficulty of having offended the Governor.
We know God didn’t need better offerings. God is already the owner of the universe. The issue had to do with the heart of the people. Their offering revealed what was going on inside of them. They didn’t value their relationship with God. They felt it was a burden to worship God. The burden of God was such that they were looking for ways to lighten the load.
This provides us with an opportunity for reflection in our own lives. What is our view of God in our hearts? Is it a burden to follow Him? Do we find seeking the Lord to be a major inconvenience and interruption to what we would really like to do? Is that attitude in our heart showing up in our worship?
God doesn’t need our stuff. God doesn’t need our time. God doesn’t need our voices. God doesn’t need our prayers. God is God: He needs nothing. But God WANTS our hearts. He wants us to desire Him above everything else. When we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – it will show up in our gifts to Him!
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Malachi 1:6-14.
See you Sunday,