It's Better to Give than Receive
Someone recently asked this question:
What is the BEST gift you ever received at Christmas?
I had to think about that for a while. And I’m still not sure I’ve come up with the definitive answer. One year, I got a Dallas Cowboy football uniform. I got the jersey… the pants… shoulder pads and helmet.
That was back in the days of Tom Landry and Roger Staubach. The jersey had the number “12” on it. When I put it on, my mind was instantly transformed into the elite quarterback of the NFL. I’d get out in the yard and throw perfect spirals, 50 yards… well… 10 yards down the field. (My mind was transformed, but my body was still only 9 years old!)
That was many years ago. Later in life, I grew to hate the Cowboys. (The kind of hate I have to confess in my prayers!) But, I’ll never forget that uniform. I was Pro Football MVP—Roger Staubach. That was a good Christmas.
These days, it’s easier to recall the best gifts I have GIVEN at Christmas. As a husband and father, I really do understand why “it’s better to give than to receive.” I love giving good gifts to my family and friends. The joy I have in receiving doesn’t compare to the joy I find in giving. There’s something special about being a blessing to another person.
When we consider the “reason for the season,” we are naturally grateful for the AWESOME gift of Jesus. It really is the best gift ever! Have you ever tried, however, to consider how God must feel in the GIVING of this gift?
The Bible says we are created in the image of God. That means, in some way, we reflect His emotions, His desires and His joy. At the same time, we are just a dim reflection of those characteristics. God is perfect in His emotions and desires and joy. His satisfaction is not constrained by human limitations. He is infinitely capable of experiencing joy.
That means that as much as we might experience joy in blessing others… God enjoys it more! He has an endless capacity to do good. The gift of Christmas, therefore, is a much bigger deal to God than we ever imagined!
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
In the context of Christmas, it begs the questions:
If we think Christmas is a big deal, how much bigger a deal is it to God?
If Christmas is a celebration of God’s gift to us, how much more does God celebrate when we receive this gift?
My hope for this post is that you’ll stop what you’re doing right now and just meditate on the joy it gives our Heavenly Father to express His love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The true spirit of Christmas is NOT what we received, but what God GAVE.