IMPACT: (verb) (/imˈpakt/) – to have a strong effect on someone or something

During the Christmas season, we’re often reminded that “it’s better to give than to receive”. These words were first spoken by Jesus, recorded by Paul, and repeated by moms who’ve purchased, packaged, and elegantly wrapped gifts to be put under the Christmas tree as gifts for her husband and kids. In return, she fully expects to receive a kitchen appliance she already has and there is a good chance it’s wrapped in paper that says “Happy Birthday” rather than “Merry Christmas.” 

So, as she opens her third handheld mixer she smiles, and repeats to herself the words of her Savior, “It’s better to give than to receive.” 

We know this statement is true. Not only because Jesus said it but because we feel it – deep within our souls these words resonate. We feel it when we open a gift and it’s… not exactly what we wanted. We feel it when the temporary bliss of the presents fade. We feel it as we’re embarrassed by the greed we know is in our hearts. We feel it as we pull the card off the wall that says, “9-11-year-old male” or “baby wipes”. We feel it as we swipe our card at the register knowing that these items are for someone else. We feel the Spirit affirming within us the selflessness that He desires us to live in. We know “it’s better to give than to receive” because one of our chief purposes in life is to bring glory to God by doing good to others – by making an impact

Christ’s Church of Oronogo wants to make an impact on the community and world in which we live. This Christmas, we’ve been donating diapers and onesies to LifeChoices as they prepare baby baskets for expecting families. We’ve given nerf guns and coloring books to Watered Gardens in support of their Worth Shop that allows parents who work to earn gifts for their children. We’ve purchased and wrapped Christmas gifts for the children of our missionaries and have mailed them across the world. We’ve packed freezer meals for Fostering Hope as they serve children and families in the foster care system. 

Why have we done these things?

We want the young families who are expecting an unplanned pregnancy to know that they are not alone in their life-affirming decision to raise their child. We want to affirm the dignity of the men and women at the Worth Shop and remind them that they are capable of providing for their families. We want to encourage our missionaries who’ve undertaken the task of taking the gospel to the most unreached countries in the world. We want to support the birth families and foster families of children in the foster care system as they care for and pursue the best interests of the child. We want to have a “strong effect” on these areas and more. In order that more people will come to discover completeness in Jesus. And in order for this to continually happen, we must remind ourselves of this truth…

“It’s better to give than to receive.” 

May I encourage our church to remember that this is not a Christmas phrase. This is Bible truth. These words have no season, they are not for an occasion. These words are an anthem for us to repeat to ourselves in every situation we’re in as a reminder to act in obedience to what the Spirit is calling us to.

So as the lights come down, the tree returns to the attic, and your new handheld mixer finds its place in the cabinet next to the one your husband gave you last year… may I encourage you to remember: 

“It’s better to give than to receive.”

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