MORE BLESSED TO GIVE?
By Jim Wolfe, Senior Pastor
Christmas is the season of giving! Paul writes in Acts 20:35, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I had one of our youth ask me the other day, “What was the best Christmas present you ever received?” Racking my brain, I really could not remember anything really outstanding. Oh, I can remember a lot of things including toys, clothes, etc., and even the joy of opening presents on Christmas Day; but the things that bring a real smile to my face are not the things I received but the things I remember giving and seeing the reaction of the recipients. Although my boys are grown and have families of their own, I am still blessed as I remember the joys and excitement seen upon their faces on Christmas morning; as well as others!
I was asked one time about Santa Claus and how, as a preacher, I could support that “lie” to my children. And my response was, although a pagan practice, it allows parents to give to their children anonymously. Children know parents give them things simply because we are their parents. It is our duty!
But even to people outside our family, does it not bless us just knowing we gave without anyone else knowing? Many years ago, Momma and I lived in a low-income area of town – and it was obvious that our neighbor had nothing. The Dad had lost his job and they were struggling with food and medicine (they had 3 young children). We did not have much, supporting 5 boys of our own, but we bought some groceries and some toys, put everything in 2 boxes and left them at their door on their front porch on Christmas Eve. If I had not just shared that, no one to this day would know we did this; and yet after all these years, this came to mind! The words of Jesus truly bear out the blessing experienced in giving.
That question, “What was the best Christmas present you ever received?” certainly stirred a lot of thought. I could share several things that still bring thoughts of joy because of what was given, not what was received! And I think that if you took time to reflect on past Christmases you would realize that it really is true, “It is more blessed to give than to receive!”
With all that said, there is one gift I have received (but not at Christmas time) that proves that it is more blessed to receive than to give! That gift is why we Celebrate Christmas. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” To receive this Gift is to be blessed throughout eternity! And that still brings a smile on my face!
May you have many Happy and Blessed experiences this Christmas Season!