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'White Elephant' Gifts Distract Us from Serving God

Gordon MacDonald shares the following story:

In ancient days when the king of Siam had an enemy he wanted to torment and destroy, he would send that enemy a unique gift, a white elephant, a live, albino elephant. These animals were considered sacred in the culture of that day. So the recipient of that elephant ...

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Bruce Kochsmeier

November 17, 2016  4:19pm

Perfect for our material obsessed and time warped culture.

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December 13, 2012  4:26pm

Sometimes we are prone to glorify the gift, or worse, glorify ourselves rather than glorifying God with the gifts we receive from Him. Unlike the king of Siam, whose "white elephant" gift was motivated by hatred, God's gifts are motivated by His love and concern for us, and with the one condition that we use that gift to glorify Him, and to bless others. Unfortunately, our egos often get inflated with the talents we receive from God (e.g. music, hospitality, etc.,) and we tend to use them to glorify ourselves through them. Every time we use our God-given gifts, we must remember that they are to be used only to honor, glorify, and worship the "Giver of every good and perfect gift." Chris Ederesinghe

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December 12, 2012  2:02pm

tahk you Siam Sam. I interpret this: God gives everything we need to take care of the privileges & responsibilities he gives.

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Siam Sam

December 12, 2012  12:56am

Living in Thailand, I know this story is true, but only half true. If the king wanted to curse his enemies, he would do as described above. However, if he wanted to bless his enemies, he would give the same gift: a white elephant. However, he would then provide the land, money, manpower, and all the necessary resources to take care of it. I'm sure there's another sermon illustration in there in contrast to the first option....perhaps something about God's direction and provision?

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December 11, 2012  6:39am

Thanks for this message. It was meant for me.

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