Friday, December 14, 2012

It is better to give than receive

This Christmas season, my family and I have decided to make it about others and not about ourselves. Some time ago, one of our grown sons and his wife asked us what we would like for Christmas, and we said, take the money you would spend on us and give to someone in need.

After all, what could we possibly need this Christmas that we don’t already have? We have good health, we have love, we have joy, we have a roof over our head, plenty of food to eat, and a warm bed to sleep on.

I have always thought of Christmas as the “giving” season, not the “getting” season. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE giving people gifts. Whether it is store bought, or a craft made or some goodies baked from my kitchen. Giving is MUCH more rewarding than receiving.

Often times though we forget about this concept. We forget about it when someone shows up at the door with a gift for us and we instantly feel bad because we did not get them a gift in return. We can blame our culture that we live in for this I guess because society tells us giving is really about trading…”I get you something, you get me something.” I use to feel guilty if someone gave me a Christmas gift and I had none for them. In fact, I had a friend that once told me that she would pick up things on clearance and keep on hand for such a time, so when she was caught off guard and had no gift to give back, she would reach into her closet and grab something.

Seems like an organized plan, but where is the thought, where is the heart in that kind of giving?

Can you imagine what it would have been like if the wise men had this kind of thinking? “I wonder what Mary and Joseph will give us in return for these great gifts we are bringing?” And do you think Mary wondered about the gifts that the wise men brought? “Gold works for me…but spices? That is something used for burials, what a strange gift for a baby!”

I doubt that was the way it was. I also doubt that Mary and Joseph felt bad that they had no gift to give back to the wise men. And the wise men were not looking for anything in return for their gifts. It was enough for them to have found the King and to worship Him.

As I reflect on this season of giving, I remember the saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” If I could put a “Laurie” twist on that saying, I would say, “We give because we have received.”

There is nothing that we could give that would compare in value to the ultimate Christmas gift…Jesus.

Matthew 2:10-11 “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they open their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

But we can share the love of Christ with others in our giving spirit and by doing so, we all will receive. May we have a Christmas like the wise men did…giving to others because our hearts are full of worship, adoration and love for our Savior.

May your Christmas be about His PRESENCE and not so much about presents!






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