I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. Romans 15:24

Every year, especially recently, I’ve found Christmas to be a wonderful experience. I deeply enjoy giving gifts to my wife, children, and grandchildren. I find giving gifts to my grandchildren stirs memories of my own childhood, recalling the fun and joy I felt at receiving gifts.

As I grew up, the joy I felt at receiving gifts seemed to subside, and I began to feel more joy and happiness in giving gifts.Certainly, I appreciated the gifts, thoughts and love behind them, but it didn’t hold the same sense of joy as it did when I was younger.

Acts 20:35 says “It’s more blessed to give than receive”, and that’s still true. Giving gifts is certainly a blessing! Jesus tells us in John 3:16 the extent of God’s love for us and the deep-rooted gift to us, providing for us the ultimate in giving. Giving is indeed a blessing! But one thing to always remember: there’s a receiver with every gift.

The delight I see in my granddaughters when they receive their gift is something I’ve lost over time. I experience this in day-to-day life, where I’ve become less willing to receive a gift from someone, including asking for help with things I can’t always do myself. My pridefulness steps in and I can’t bring myself to ask for help, attempting to ‘muscle through’ and get it done on my own. This ought not so to be! I’m depriving someone of the blessing of helping, giving me a gift that I need, and feeling blessed for it.

Perhaps it’s time to recount the joy in receiving a gift of help, accepting the blessings intended, and allowing the opportunity for others to be blessed in their giving. As you go through your day, keep your eyes and ears open for ways to share blessings with those around us when you’re in need. If they offer, accept the gift. If they don’t, ask them. Give them the opportunity to receive the blessing!

By Rich Obrecht

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