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  • John M. Boutchia III

More blessed to give than receive

In 1995, an elderly woman by the name of Osceola McCarty gave $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi to be used for their scholarship fund. At that time she was 87 years old but was still very cognizant of her 6th grade year when she was forced to drop out of school in order to care for the family. For more than 60 years she made a living by washing clothes for hire in Hattiesburg, MS. Her gift represented a large amount but something very simple: she desired to give in order that others may have an opportunity she never received.


Our society values to a great extent how much a person has. People talk often of the millionaires and billionaires. What they own, where they live and even how they live seems to be the talk of the tabloids and want-to-be money-makers. One cannot go anywhere without the challenge to have more and be like "them". Lifestyles of the rich and famous was once a television show but still seems to be the dream of the average person.


Yet, is it not interesting to note that while our society values how much a person has God values how much a person gives. In fact, these words were attributed to Jesus in Acts 20:35: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When I begin to think about this principle, I start to realize at this Christmas season that this is really the way to be blessed. A quick meander through the Bible lists some great givers. Consider Mary and her costly perfume. How about the three wise men and the articulate and exorbitant gifts given to the Christ-child? Who could forget that widow whom Jesus saw at the temple which gave so much. And most importantly the greatest example is the Lord Jesus who gave Himself for us on the cross of Calvary


This Christmas season, we need to think about what is flowing through our hands and not what is being placed in them. The size of your gift is not the issue. Whether it was purchased in a store or not is irrelevant. Gifts comes in all sizes and packages. It could be something wrapped in paper. It could be a donation given above and beyond your regular giving to your local church. It might be time and energy spent on a project for your church; or most importantly, it could be, that at this moment in time, you will give yourself to the Lord wholeheartedly and completely. So the question for you in this Christmas season is this: "Will you be blessed?"

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