Nena Arias | December 21, 2020
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Most of the news that gets reported or emphasized these days is bad or a real challenge, to say the least. But not all that is happening in the world and around us is bad. In this Christmas season, let’s also emphasize some of the good things that are happening around us to be encouraged and to keep hope alive that there is a better tomorrow. Each one of us can make this world a better place if we look for opportunities to do good. It is expected of us from our Creator as the best way to live, and something that he promises is that ‘it is better to give than to receive.’
This teaches that there is joy in the act of giving when it is done with pure motives and it fills us with gratification and peace that we are doing our part to make this a better world for all of us.
We are also commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” And if you really want to make your life count through love, here is what you can do: John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” You might say, ‘wait a minute’ we don’t have to carry things that far. Lay down my life for others? Yes, that’s what you just read. That’s what loving sacrificially means. Whatever you want for yourself, you should want for others. That is true love, and that is what truly matters in this life. 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Love is so powerful, and God wants everyone to experience it that we are even commanded to love our enemies. Matthew 5:44-48 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?… And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? …You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
In the practical daily living, how do you love and bless your enemies? You pray for them. Talk to God about them. Prepare them a meal, greet them in a very friendly manner even if they don’t respond to your greeting. Show kindness and mercy, you never know what has made them angry or bitter. They are hurting. God said in Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” and Jesus repeats it in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” And he even added that this is the second greatest Commandment. God is not kidding or just emitting words. He expects us to live this way to arrive at perfection. The path to happiness is not a ‘hit and miss’ game that we play, it comes from living life God’s way purposefully. We must make the effort to always be on the lookout to see where we can make the difference for good. It has to be on purpose that we do acts of kindness for “it is better to give than to receive.” Not everything that we give and do for people has to involve money. It is not the only way to bring happiness to someone and to yourself. And if you spend it wisely or in the right way you can do much good.
Too often people don’t know what makes them happy because they indulge themselves as much as they can and still come up unfulfilled.
People are doing good deeds for people to make life better for themselves and others. News outlets reported that over 900 cars paid forward in a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Brainerd, Minnesota. Imagine the surprise to know that the person in front of you paid your bill. Why would someone do that? Plain and simple, for the blessing of giving. How could you not keep the chain going? Kindness is contagious. We can make this world a better place.
A Food Lion Store reported that an anonymous 91-year-old Korean War veteran donated at the customer service counter at a North Carolina Food Lion $1,500 to the store’s “Holidays Without Hunger” program. That’s a lot of money for the average person let alone a veteran who is probably on a very limited pension. He also donated $500 for 100 pre-packaged meal boxes — also part of the program — which contain enough food for a family of four and these are distributed to local food banks. This veteran’s gift to the needy was the largest individual donation in the charity’s 17-year history. The store manager asked him what his motivation was for this generous gift. He told the store manager that he spent two years as a prisoner during the Korean War and was rarely fed, he weighed 90 pounds, which probably meant that in those two years he may have lost half of his body weight from hunger. Being hungry has got to be a very exasperating and desperate situation. And even at his advanced age, this veteran never forgot that feeling and he didn’t want anyone to have to experience that if he could help it. He said, “I’m not doing this for any publicity or recognition. I just plain and simple don’t want people to be hungry.”
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’…And the King will answer…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
So, you see, the blessing of Christmas is alive and well. People are stepping up to the plate and meeting the needs of others and in so doing, they are doing it unto the Lord. Let’s keep the chain of kindness going! Merry Christmas everyone!