‘Tis better to give than to receive

“In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35 (NRSV)

As I watched my (almost) 2-year-old enjoy Christmas this year, I was reminded, yet again, of how much we can learn from kids. As much as she enjoyed opening her presents and playing with her new toys, she also had a joyful time handing presents out to family members. I hope you had the same experience this year — the joy that comes with giving can be just as great as, if not greater than, the joy of receiving.

For most of us, the joy of receiving will slow down, possibly until our next birthday. But the joy of giving can continue throughout the year. Even if money is tight for us, there is plenty that we can give. We can give of our time and our presence by visiting with someone who might be lonely. We can give our gifts by making dinner for someone who just got out of the hospital. We can give encouragement and hope to someone who is discouraged. All of these examples are just a fraction of the ways that we can give, and in doing so, continue to experience joy throughout the year, as well as bringing joy to others.


Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Samantha McElwee of Woolrich Community United Methodist Church.