We all love the feeling of doing something nice for someone less fortunate but as I dig into Christmas Past and stare Christmas Present and Future in the face I can’t help but wonder if that’s really not the point of this holiday.
Christ did what He did and did not base it on how He felt.
We also cannot get into the habit of doing things for people based on how they treat us.
I recently met a bunch of people, mostly by accident, or more likely by God’s intervention, who are teaching me the true spirit of giving.
One is Billy. Billy is not a wealthy man but has more than most of us because he truly seems to understand the act of giving.
Giving is an act not a feeling.
Why is it that the poor understand this and those of us with moderate to great means do not?
Billy: The Guy With The Big Heart
The value of friendship is another thing Christ tried/tries to teach us everyday and I witnessed that for myself in the life of Peter.
Peter is a man I met at a rehabilitation fellowship in the heart of the “Witt” in Eugene. I met him by accident as well.
Peter is a former heroine addict who will tell you in a very short story, the value of people, friendships and relationships.
Peter The Rock
And there is Mike. Mike is a great big guy with a heart the size of Texas who sheds some light on the issue of homelessness, not the political message we see in protests but a message that cuts past the public relations and gets to the heart of why we should care about this issue and these people.
Mike: A Man On A Eugene Mission
And then there is David. David is a guy each one of us would like to have as a best friend. He grew up homeless and remembers all those phony acts of kindness during the holidays aimed at making the giver the actual receiver.
He shows us how we deceive ourselves when we give as we hope to get something back in the reward of a good feeling. When you boil it down that’s not giving like Christ that’s giving to receive. I’m sure it didn’t feel good to know your life would end dying on a cross for people who reject you.
David: A Man who Terminally Cares
David told me something that I can’t get out of my head. In their home his children open their Christmas presents and then give their favorite back to their parents. David then re-gifts those gifts to someone who needs them.
He doesn’t have his children do the re-gifting because they might depend on the good feeling they get giving it away rather than simply doing what Christ did, give.
He says his kids now, at ages still under the teen years, work at Hosea Youth Services and freely give to the poor not depending on feelings but just doing the right thing.
Christmas is about a gift that gave and received nothing in return. It’s about a man who died for us whether we reject his claims, His gift or His message. His love is not dependent on our reaction but based on true love.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year but go back and watch these interviews and I think if you are open to it, it might help you change the way you look at Christmas next year.
After visiting Billy, Mike, Peter and David my Christmas’ will never be the same and I thank each of them, and God, for this amazing gift that is so much more than a feeling.
The special “The Strangest Reindeer” Airs Sunday December 22nd/29th at 4:30 on KEVU or go to the top and watch it right now.