No Bonus Features


“This play does not offer bonus features.”

A few years ago, my sons and my nieces put on their own nativity play to entertain the family on Christmas Day. As they were bowing to a standing ovation, seven-year-old Hunter announced, “This play does not offer bonus features.” He apparently wanted us to accept the play for what it was, a complete package on its own–nothing added.

At this young age, Hunter loved to watch all of the extra content a movie disc offered. He loved funny out-takes and bloopers as much as he loved long, dry interviews with the directors. The movie was not enough. He wanted more.

Isn’t that how we are with the people around us at times? We’re just not satisfied with who our family and friends are. We want them to be more–more entertaining, more generous, more considerate.

During this holiday season, I want to make an announcement to all of those around me: “This person does not offer bonus features.” This is who I am … nothing more.

I talk A LOT. Since I am an introvert, some of it is nervous chatter. Silence in a conversation makes me uncomfortable. I even have a bad habit of throwing weird comments into the middle of a conversation. I don’t know where they come from, but they fly out of my mouth before I can catch myself. I am trying to work on it, but I’m not often successful yet.

I interrupt people. I don’t do it to be rude; I’m just so excited about the subject matter that I can’t seem to keep my comments to myself! I know that interrupting is, in fact, rude so I am working to gain more self-control, but it’s slow going.

I tend to be late. I have been working on this for YEARS. Mostly, I am on time now, but when I am late, I’ve got it down to within five minutes. My goal is to be at least a few minutes early so I still probably have a few more years’ work ahead of me.

I don’t do much of anything quickly. I don’t begin to know how to even change this. I am methodical about everything and it takes time to think things through. 

I love coffee and lots of different kinds of food. I enjoy them so much that it may become obnoxious how much I comment on how good a food or drink is.

These are just a few examples of my many faults/idiosyncrasies. My desire is to grow more like Christ everyday, but I am certainly not there yet … not even close.

Please don’t worry about my seemingly low self-esteem. I also know that I have many strengths, talents, and gifts that God has entrusted me with in order to bless others.

I am confident in who I am in Christ, but I offer no bonus features. This is who I am. God doesn’t ask us to be more. He accepts us and loves us just as we are. Our gratitude for His love and all that He does in our lives causes us to want to become more like Him. 

As God extends grace to us, so should we extend grace to others, accepting them for who they are, not expecting something more. (Of course, if someone hurts us, we should be willing to confront them in love.) We are all a work in progress. Especially during this holiday season, when families and friends have more opportunities to get together, I choose to extend grace to everyone around me. 

Would you do the same for me?

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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