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Layered Gifts

I've recently been reading the book 7:An experimental mutiny against excess, by Jen Hatmaker, and once again have found myself completely convicted.  Actually if I'm honest, I go back and forth between laughing my head off (she is hilarious) and feeling convicted.

 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence." (Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. )

This morning in my prayer closet (the shower) I was struggling with how much I have and how little I give.  Though Jen Hatmaker is in no way condemning (actually quite the opposite), I have a tendency to figure out a way to condemn myself without much prodding.  As I was beating myself up, I heard His still small voice (I think it was His, I never know for sure) whispering - "salvation is a gift - a layered gift".

When I was a teenager, my uncle proposed to my future aunt (in front of our whole family) with a layered gift.  I wish I would have counted the number of boxes she opened before she finally got to that beautiful ring, or I could have known how long it took my uncle to so tenderly wrap each one.  This box, inside a box, inside another box is what I'm referring to when I say a "layered gift"

Each time I learn something new and/or am convicted about a new subject within Christianity, I tend to wonder if my faith is real.  I think things like "If I was really  a Christian I would do __________, or I would not do ________"  However, this morning when I was tempted to go down that path I found myself reflecting on this "layered gift" analogy.  When someone gives you a "layered gift", it is yours the moment they hand it to you.  Though you may not experience the fullness of the gift until you've opened all the boxes, the gift immediately belongs to you.  

Salvation is a gift.  It is ours from the moment we believe.  As we grow in our faith and He reveals more of Himself and we become more aware of the sin He is asking us to let go of, we are simply unwrapping another layer of His AMAZING GIFT of salvation.  

Next time I come across another area in my life that needs work, instead of wondering if I "am even a Christian", I am praying that God will remind me that He has given me the gift of salvation once and for all.  I'm just unwrapping the next layer :).


  1. This is achingly profound. Such beautiful thoughts. I love the example and explanation of the layered gift . . . So powerful!

    1. Thanks M. Coming from you, an amazingly gifted and encouraging writer - that means more than I know how to express!


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