“LET HIM LABOR TO HAVE TO GIVE”

My best friend Jane and I went to visit Pauline, who we hadn’t seen in years. She had come on hard times but I didn’t know just how bad things were until she answered this question: “What are your boys getting for Christmas this year?”

Her head hung down and she answered, “I don’t have any money so I have to wrap some of their old toys so they have something to open.” It broke my heart. She showed us the two toys she planned to wrap, a deflated football and a broken truck.

Jane and I each had $50 extra we could spend so we asked Pauline what the boys would like. Off we went to the store. We stretched that $100 as far as we could and bought every fun thing we could think of including the new football and shiny red truck the boys told their mom they really wanted. We also bought two of the biggest Christmas stockings we could find and filled them with candy and small things for each of them. Everything went under the Christmas tree.

On Christmas morning when they opened up those presents, the look of delight on their faces totally outweighed the effort and money we spent. I’ll never forget that Christmas.

The Las Vegas casinos give away prizes all year long and Jane collects them for the end of the year. She made up a game to play on Christmas Eve with my family and we give away the prizes, but this year we were inspired to do something different.

Starbucks was collecting gifts for the kids at the local Rescue Mission, so we pulled down the boxes from the attic and opened them up. We found all kinds of cute kids’ stuff. Then we decided to take it a step further and were excited to find warm blankets, some winter gloves, jewelry, jackets, long-sleeved shirts and all kinds of things. The more we found to give, the happier and more excited we got.  When we went on-line to see what they needed, we found that they wanted Bibles. That really made my day. I happen to have a small collection and several for children and teens. You know, that really touched my heart.

Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

It’s my opinion that in the past several years there’s been way too much emphasis put on giving to get. But here in Ephesians it’s just the opposite, we get to give!

“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The Greek word for blessed in this verse means “happier.” I got to experience the true delight of giving and you can too. Think about it.

Love, Carolyn

The photo is of some of the things we gave to the Rescue Mission here in Las Vegas.

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