This time of year, there’s one question that gets asked every day, “What are you getting for Christmas?” We have kids make lists of everything they want and then have them send it to Santa. Or we take them to the mall to have them sit on Santa’s knee so they can tell him in person. Somehow, we’ve taken a holiday that was about giving and have turned it into holiday about getting. What if we started asking people, “What are you giving this year?”
As I watched a friend give a Christmas party with gifts, games, food and fun to a hundred under privileged kids, the scripture that says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” came to mind. I watched her hand each child a gift they had wanted and their parents probably couldn’t afford. I think her smile was larger than any child’s because she was the one giving. That’s what this season, and I think this life is all about. Giving.
In the beginning, God gave man he breath of life. He gave us everything we need to survive. Millennia later, He gave His only begotten Son to us so that we might have eternal life. When He was born, the wise men gave Him gifts. These gifts were sacrificial. They cost these men not just their money, but their time and effort as well to deliver them. That night in Bethlehem, they learned the blessing of giving.
This season, don’t let it be about getting. Take time to enjoy the giving. Look beyond your own family and give to someone else in need. You never know what a blessing it will be to them. When you see what your obedience does for others, you will find your own blessing. Luke 6:38 says, “Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands — all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you” (GNB). This Christmas, give generously.
I have the privilege of taking teams on mission trips a couple of times a year. Before I take anyone to Haiti, I give them this warning: Your life will be wrecked. Someone inevitably asks me what that means. I tell them something happens to you when you physically become the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these. Your life, your mission, your thought process all change when you give what’s in your hand to someone who can never pay you back. There’s a feeling of satisfaction like you’ve never experienced in doing the Father’s will. There’s a joy unspeakable that comes from holding an orphan’s hand knowing you’ve just become their “blanc”.
Things you’ve done your whole life just don’t seem fulfilling anymore. It’s difficult to go back to your day to day life knowing that the things you do there have little to no eternal value. I’d rather be working in the Haitian heat doing something that matters for eternity than to sit in an air conditioned office trying to decide where I’m going to go for lunch. I can’t even wash a bug off my windshield without thinking how the people of Myan have to walk six miles for drinkable water like the water that I’m using on an insect. It’s not easy living a wrecked life, but it’s a fulfilled one.
It’s one where you give all you have for all He wants. When you allow the scales of selfishness to fall off your eyes, you suddenly see this life was never about you. It’s always been about helping others. It’s been about giving what you have. If you look closely at what God does, you’ll see that He gives (see John 3:16). I believe He expects us to do the same. He put in us a feeling of satisfaction that only comes from giving. That’s why Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” When you give yourself, your time, your prayers or your money, you open yourself to being wrecked by God’s blessings.
God has placed in each one of us the desire to live a wrecked life. For some, that only comes from being on the ground in Haiti or some other part of the world being the hands and feet of Jesus. For some, it’s giving so that those who have the need to go can go and fulfill their mission. For others, it’s praying for those who go and give. They fight the unseen battle that rages over the lost person’s soul. Each of us have our lives wrecked when we fulfill our role in fulfilling the Great Commission. When we each do our part, we’ll each hear the Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
What’s your part in giving? If you want to have your life wrecked by God, ask Him what role He wants you to play in fulfilling the Great Commission. If it’s to go, organize a mission trip for your church and go. If you’d like to go to Haiti to work with orphans, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s to give, find someone who is going on a trip and give towards their trip. You can also give monthly support to any full time missionary. They’d appreciate it very much. If it’s to pray, dedicate time each day to pray for those fighting on the front lines. They can feel your prayers and it gives them strength to go on. When you do your part, you give others the ability to do theirs and all of will live wrecked lives like God intended.