This gift box was the first we put under the tree as our kids were growing up, as a symbol of giving our hearts to God. To me, it’s a reminder to be grateful for all the love and grace he’s given us, and to recognize any vows or mindsets I’ve made in my heart outside of him, in pain, fear, and bitterness.
Many times people react to pain, loss, rejection, betrayal, abuse, or their own failures by making inner vows to protect themselves from letting anything like that happen again. It’s understandable, because it never helps. If you fall into making those kinds of vows, they always end up working against you. Instead of being shielded from those things, that’s all you can see, because you’re constantly on the lookout for what might hurt you.
You can actually end up attracting those things into your life, because you give away so much of yourself guarding against them that you forget how to live securely in God’s love, joy, and peace. You leave gaps that get filled up with whatever negative things you’re giving your attention to. Those vows can take up so much of your heart and thoughts, they rewrite your mindset and eventually, your identity. You become defined by your fears instead of by who God says you are.
Make a gift of your vows by letting God show you where they came from, and asking him to heal each one. Release those who have wronged you, and allow God to fill in the gaps with his love, joy, and peace again. Let him change how you see yourself and everyone around you. You’re giving a costly gift, but you’re receiving a priceless treasure.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8a).