A treasured shopping trip

Published 7:33 am Friday, December 14, 2012


Donalsonville Assembly of God

It has been rightly stated by one author that, “By giving generously, we walk with God in the paths of life and store up riches for ourselves in heaven. Greed, on the other hand, takes us along a dark road and fills our hands with illusory treasures …”

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One of the outstanding opportunities of this holy season is giving; when we give generously without any expectation of receiving anything in return the result is the realization of tremendous joy. The fulfillment from the discipline of giving grows when we include teaching our children how to know the joy of giving to others. I experienced that kind of joy just days ago.

Gale and I chose to participate in a local opportunity in which we “adopted” a needy child for Christmas. By doing so, we agreed to buy gifts for a 9-year-old, but I wanted it to be more than simply running to the store and making a quick selection so I could feel good about what I had done.

Instead, I chose to make it a bit more difficult for myself — I invited three little girls about the same age as our adopted girl to go with us to help choose the gifts. Mallory, Jaleah and Anna Beth excitedly accepted the invitation, and their giggles and chatter could be heard as we traveled to make our purchases. I have to admit I was a bit unsure how able we would be to get them to agree on what to buy, but I wanted to help them learn some lessons about reaching out to those in need, so it was worth the challenge.

Our mission was to buy clothing, educational items and toys for the little girl I had chosen as our adopted Christmas child. When we got to the store, it was immediately apparent to me that our three girls had been previously exposed to shopping! Like pros, they looked through pants and shirts and very quickly arrived at a decision that they all agreed upon. And so it was as the other items were selected. Amazingly, neither of the three ever asked for anything for themselves; they stayed focused on our adopted child.

After I paid for their selections, we treated our girls by taking them to a restaurant for supper. As I prayed for our meal, I prayed for the little girl that we had bought Christmas gifts for.

That was an evening I will always fondly include among my family Christmas memories. And more than that, I trust it will be a lesson that Mallory, Jaleah and Anna Beth will carry with them and put into practice for the rest of their lives.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us be sure to look for and take advantage of the opportunities that are available for us to give to others-especially those who can do nothing for us in return except offer a word of thanks. And as we celebrate, I trust that we all will remember God’s Gift to us, our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (New International Version).