The Presence

There is a principle that holds true with God and with man: “We need to be more focused on presence instead of the presents.” It is human nature to want God and other people to give us presents. We all like them, right? The problem is, we tend to focus on the material gifts vs having meaningful relationships. It is so easy to get focused on the wrong thing because we live in a materialistic world.

Our wants are often at war with our needs. We need a vital relationship with God and with our fellow man, and yet too often we forget what really matters. This is not to beat anybody up over misplaced values. We all struggle in this area, and the more money we have, the greater the temptation to focus on things vs relationships.

We need to teach kids about the value of presence. It is so vital to our spiritual and emotional growth. You know what? God wants our presence first and foremost, but He also likes to give us presents just as we like to give our kids presents. It is really a matter of priority. If we can just humble ourselves before Him and get THAT relationship in order, then the relationships we have with our fellow man tend to work with a lot less friction.

Relationships should never be taken for granted. We have to nurture them or they can and will die. Teach your kids that one concept and it will save them a lot of grief when they get older. Christmas and birthdays are good examples. Where do we typically put our focus? On the presents….not the presence.

When the value of presence exceeds the value of presents, we have taken a huge step in having healthy relationships and a lot less drama in our lives. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Focus on what matters: relationships. Love God and love people. Use things. Don’t get that reversed. If you try to use God or use people, it never ends well. You WILL reap what you sow. It really boils down to what we prioritize in life. If we focus on the presents, we will continually be chasing the dollar and never experience the peace and blessings of God. So we have to ask ourselves, “What really matters to me in this world?” Nobody can answer that question for you. It is up to you to choose. Another question you might want to ponder is, “What will be my legacy?”


Daniel Skognes


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