When I was a child, I loved getting gifts! Whether it was my birthday, or Christmas, or no occasion at all, gift receiving was indescribably wonderful! Handfuls of candy, little toy dolls or even a small globe; being handed a gift made me a happy camper.
I vividly recall one year in particular. I was overly excited for the coming of Christmas, and I did a little detective work to find out what my gift for that year would be. Being the sleuth that I was, I waited until my mom was gone so I could go rummaging around in her closet, searching for my package.
Eureka! I found it on the top shelf, “it” being a marvelous blouse with puffy sleeves. I was so proud of myself for being sneaky. But then, the guilt set in, and I had to figure out how to act surprised when I actually received my present.
I’d like to think I learned my lesson that year, but I’m not so sure I did. Although I’m not guilty of sleuthing as I did sixty years ago, as I’ve matured, I’ve found that I find greater pleasure in giving rather than receiving.
To be honest, I have been on the receiving end of Christmas gifts from more than just immediate members of my family. When my kids were little, we were on the list several times for groups like Good Fellows, Angel Tree or K C’s. The kindnesses we were shown brought plenty of smiles and squeals of delight from my youngsters. They loved the excitement of gifts to open and a plethora of foods. It was a blessing for us to be thought of, but although I was thankful, I would have rather been the giver than the receiver.
Don’t get me wrong. I greatly appreciated all those who helped make the holidays a wonderful time for all of us. However, I want to be one of those who brings smiles out of others. Something inside me looks for ways to be a giver.
Since that time, I’ve found that the Bible iterates this very notion.
“I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’” (Acts 20:35).
I do enjoy giving, but I try to give with wisdom. What I really try to do is pass on the kindness, or as some might say, “Pay it forward.”
Since we have been greatly blessed, I try to bless those organizations. Although most giving is done at Christmas time, giving mustn’t be limited by dates on the calendar.
For example, many years ago, someone bought my son’s chickens at the Wharton County Fair and gave him encouragement that he needed. By this time, our financial situation had greatly improved, and the next year, we were in a position to help others in the same manner that our son was helped.
I have found that in giving, I find joy. The looks of surprise and appreciation are priceless, especially when the gifts are needed.
I’m not a benevolent fairy godmother, but I do want to share the love of the true God in any fashion I can. I’ve also found that I can’t outgive God. His gifts are the best of all. And He uses other people to accomplish His goals.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom,” (Luke 6:38).