“Tis more blessed to give than receive.”
That’s a phrase that is heard a lot around Christmas time. It reflects the reality of joy that comes from being generous like God, and putting others before yourself. One of the best stories in the Gospels that capture this reality is the feeding of the 5,000 as told in John 6.
In the story, there is a group of people who have a problem. They’ve been listening to Jesus all day, and they are in need of some food because they are hungry. In the midst of the moment, Jesus sees this as a teaching opportunity for His disciples, so He asks them, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
The question throws the disciples into turmoil as they try to figure out how they’re going to feed the hungry crowd with such little notice. Just then, a poor little boy finds his way up to the disciples and offers his modern day equivalent of sardines and crackers. This boy was willing to give out of the little that he had to help the many (who were probably better off than he).
What the little boy experiences next was the full effect of being “more blessed to give than receive.” Jesus turns this little boy’s meager lunch into enough food to feed well over 5,000 people, and maybe as many as 15,000 people if you count all the women and children who were most likely present at this event.
The lesson that we can learn from this story is about what God can do with us when are more willing to give than receive. God has given everyone the gift of Himself, which is the greatest gift in the world. However, a gift is only good if it is opened and used for what it was intended. If you leave gifts unwrapped under the tree, they do no good.
Spend some time thinking about all the gifts that God has blessed you with. How can you use these gifts, such as the presence of Jesus in your life, to give to others? Do something as simple as thanking your mailman with a note or a picture! Whatever you do, God will multiply your gift when you give it to be used by Him.