Selfishness is a learned trait usually beginning at a very young age when we have something we want taken from us. While selfishness is learned, giving is actually an innate quality. Most of us enjoy giving. We enjoy the personal rewards reaped from making someone else happy. It seems then, we are naturally prepared to give, but are we prepared to receive?
One who has developed a selfish, self-centered nature will generally claw and grab for whatever can be gotten. Their true goal is the gift itself. On the other hand, one who has nurtured a giving, selfless nature will wait patiently and quietly for rewards. Their true goal is to savor and enjoy the moment.
There is certainly an art to receiving graciously. When one receives a gift graciously, the focus is on the giver, not the gift. The true goal is to make the gift-giver feel good, to feel as if they have greatly pleased the recipient.
Then there is also the selfish giver. This one seeks only to make him or herself look good for the act of giving, or for the actual gift given, In stark contrast, there is the selfless giver, who seeks only to bring genuine joy to the recipient.
When selfless givers and receivers get together there is true celebrating for they are actually celebrating each other. Peace, Love, and Joy abound. And that is the true spirit of Christmas!
In Jesus, we find the most perfect gift of all. God Our Father gives His Son to each of us selflessly. He sends His Son to be Light to the whole world that we might live forever in Eternity with Him. Are we prepared to receive Him selflessly? Are we prepared to give ourselves to Him selflessly in return? How we give to and receive from others, setting their happiness as our true goal, will go a long way in preparing our own hearts for God’s gift.
This Christmas let us each seek to be both a selfless giver and a selfless receiver. May His Peace, Love, and Joy abound for each of you!