Saturday, December 10, 2011

When we give who does it benefit more, the person who is receiving, or the one who is giving?

Isaiah 9:2
The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

Last week we talked about what we are celebrating and what Christmas means to us. This week we are continuing with our month long celebration of the birth of our Lord. As I was researching the writing for this week, I thought about the saying "it is better to give than to receive". I had always thought it was one of those sayings that everyone thought was in the bible, but was just an old truth passed from generation to generation when in fact it is in the bible, although I can't find where it was prior to this appearance, it is in the book of Acts.

Acts 20:35
I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

If we think about this we have all said it but not really thought about what the saying means although it seems so self explanatory. If we think of a gift that we have given or have been given throughout our lifetime, what emotions come to mind?

I find myself looking at this through my Dad's eyes. Growing up he had a rough life he was raised just after the depression and didn't always get things, not just toys or things he wanted, he didn't always have shoes, food, or adequate clothes to wear. Now hearing that you would think I was going to talk about how he was a miser and always kept his money close, as that is often what happens when people grow up with nothing. That is not it at all. I was spoiled beyond spoiling, Dad always spent everything on his kids. I never really thought about it until I started writing this week and looked at it from a different way. I apologize now and will understand if you can't read the whole thing but I can't really get the point I am trying to make across without sharing a Christmas story from my past.

When I was eight years old my Dad and his friends Clark Nash and Rule Goodman went quail hunting every available minute they had and I wanted to go as well. I only had a .22 caliber rifle, which made bird hunting impossible. All that year we looked at shotguns and I just knew I was getting a .410 for Christmas. December rolled around, our tree went up, and there was a nice forty inch by ten inch box under the tree, I knew it was my gun. I had other presents but never even noticed them as I was focused on my gun.
Christmas morning came and of course I dove for my box with my gun in it. To my surprise, or I should say disappointment, there was not a gun in the box but instead it was filled with Avon bottles. You see the other gifts that I hadn't noticed were all pieces to a shotgun each wrapped individually. My Dad truly enjoyed giving more than receiving but with a little surprising twist to make things interesting. Looking back on things I would have bet my face wasn't big enough to hold my smile and I know my Dad's smile was even bigger.

Take the time to think about this story and who was the one who truly received the gift, was it the son; or the father that gave?

You see my Dad gave without condition to bring enjoyment to his son, our Heavenly Father gave without condition to give the world salvation and grace; through His Son.

Have a blessed week,

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