Giving or Receiving, Which Do You Prefer?

Giving or Receiving, Which Do You Prefer?          December 19, 2021

“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes.  You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.  In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than receive.'” (Acts 20:33-35)

Ask a young child if they would prefer giving presents for Christmas rather than receiving them and what do you think their response would be?  As a child I remember the excitement and eagerness I had at Christmas when a gift was given to me to open.  What was inside?  Would it be something I would like?  Was it a toy or candy?  I also remember having to wait for others to receive a gift before I was handed another.  Dad always distributed the gifts to me and my siblings that way.  I also noted that mom and dad didn’t receive as many gifts as us kids did.  As a child I enjoyed giving gifts to my family but to be honest, I really enjoyed receiving them and perhaps more so.

I have spent a number of Christmases with my grandchildren and have witnessed that same excitement on their faces when a gift was given to them to open.  I’ve even seen them volunteer to open their younger siblings presents because they were too slow in getting their presents opened.  Gifts are special and as a child it’s a thrill to receive one.

As an adult, would you rather receive a $100 or give such to someone?  I guess it depends on where that $100 would be going, right?  Giving is great when it goes to a worthwhile cause.  There’s that satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping someone who is truly in need but could you give your time or money to those who may not appreciate your generosity?

Jesus was the master giver.  He gave because it pleased God and that made Him feel really good.  Much of His giving was received by those who didn’t appreciate it but that never stopped Him from further giving.  Whenever He gave to others, He gave to God and that was such a blessing.

If our giving is only successful when it is appreciated then we are apt to be disappointed.  Always remember that God knows the heart behind any gift.   We know His heart in giving us His only Son for our salvation.  No one can give like God.  He keeps giving to the just and to the unjust (Matthew 5:45).

Enjoy giving and receiving gifts this holiday season but remember, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

Brian Thompson

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