What do you like best about Christmas?
We love the gifts! We love other things about Christmas, but you’ve got to admit gifts are a big part of it. Let me point to one aspect of the Christmas gift we don’t always think about.
We enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them.
I learned a great principle from Chuck Swindoll’s The Grace Awakening. Swindoll wrote that giving is the source of our Christmas joy. Sure, we know the proper response is to say our joy comes from the birth of Jesus. But even non-believers enjoy the season, and they don’t give a thought to the birth of the Son of God.
Swindoll offered this challenge: When you open gifts this year, don’t watch the recipient. Watch the one who gave it. Listen to what they say. You’ll see and hear joy.
One year I gave family members picture frames made from curly maple. They may not have remembered it; for all I know those frames disappeared in a garage sale. But I remember. I remember the fun I had planning, selecting the wood, and spending a few hours each evening working on them. The joy was in knowing why I was building them. I wanted to make someone else happy.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
God did not send Jesus to earth in some somber act. He did it with joy! He gave willingly and joyfully, awaiting the expression in our eyes when we received the Gift He sent to us.
God, thank You for giving to us, and thank You for showing us how to give. I want to give to You by giving to others. Break through my self-centeredness, and lead me to reflect You by giving with total joy and abandonment.