Is it really more blessed to give than receive?

When I was a child, the 900-page Sears catalog would come in the mail shortly before Thanksgiving. My sisters and I would pore over page after full-color page of glorious toys, dolls, and clothing. Every page I turned showed smiling little girls playing with the latest Barbies and wearing the latest fashions. 

I wanted it all. The orange Barbie camper with surfboards on the roof. The amazingly realistic Barbie airplane, complete with a cart for the stewardess and tiny mugs of complimentary coffee. The Dawn doll with long blond hair that would retract into a short bob with a single press of her belly button. 

I dog-eared the pages, circled my favorites, and wished fervently for Santa’s benevolence. And I tried, oh how I tried, to be good for goodness sake. 

And when those items magically appeared under the tree on Christmas morning, I was euphoric. My sisters and I, wearing the purple bodysuits and matching polyester pants we’d wished for from the catalog, played out one scenario after another with our dolls. Our toothy smiles were camera-worthy. 

What I never noticed until years later, though, looking back at those old Polaroids, were the matching smiles on my parents’ faces. They looked just as happy as my sisters and me as we played in front of the tree. Grinning from ear to ear, their delight in our joy was unmistakable. 

When I became a parent myself, I experienced that same joy—one that expands my heart and causes it to press uncomfortably against the confines of my chest—the sensation of loving someone so much that bringing them joy brings me joy. It’s the mysterious revelation that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. 

It makes me think of another Giver. One with a heart much larger than mine. One who loved the world even more than I love my daughters. One who loves us so much that he gave his precious Son. One who continues to give . . . and give . . . and give. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

I believe that giving to those we love helps us understand the love the Father has for us. And that love is magnificent. Why not give some of it away today? 

If you enjoyed this post, you might like "It Happened at Church - A Christmas Surprise." 


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