Can you remember the best gift that you ever received? I have spent several minutes wracking my brain trying to think of a great gift that I have received, and honestly, I mostly think back to the great gifts that I have given to others. It sounds like a cliché, but it truly is better to give than to receive. The same can be said of the Lord our God, as these verses suggest.
All of the gifts that I have received come from God. All of the gifts that any of us have received come from God. Why would God do this for us? Like I said before, perhaps even God feels that it is better to give than to receive. He has created both heaven and earth, and given us the chance, through the teachings and life of his son, Jesus Christ, to be redeemed. We all have been gifted a gift that we can never possibly repay, and if we are slow to receive the message or refuse it, we will feel the wrath of God. In 1 Peter 4:10, it says:
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
All of us have been given a gift. We also have a responsibility to give back. We should read these verses from James, and reflect on it: we should aim to be slow to speak, swift to hear, and slow to wrath, for that is the path to wisdom. Following the path that God has laid out for us is the ultimate gift that we can use to pay him back. Unlike me, hopefully God can remember it.
It is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of our own advancement in life and to fall into conflict with others in the process of “fighting our way to the top”. It is easy to then look at our list of accomplishments and look down at others as if they were inferior to us. But God here calls us to consider others to be better than ourselves instead.