Ten-year-old Jeane worked hard on her chores at home and at the neighbors to earn money for holiday gifts. At last, she earned enough and was ready to go shopping at the big general store in in their tiny town.
“Ice skates!” she cried, “How perfect! And they’re on sale!” With the hard freezes that came with winter, Jeane was ready for fun. She bought her mother’s gift first.
When her mother unwrapped the gift, the woman smiled sweetly even though she thought These look really big. She commented, “Ice skates. How thoughtful, Dear!” She turned them over and looked at the size.
“Jeane, these are size 8. I wear size 6 l/2. Could you exchange them?”
“Sorry. They were sold out. But they are my size! I could wear them until they get in the smaller ones!”
Even though Jeane had worked hard to buy the gift, who was it really for?
Unselfish giving is giving of self without a hidden agenda. Jesus modeled unselfish giving from the mind and heart. His gifts were those which fit each need perfectly: compassion, miracles that brought physical, mental, and emotional healing, food for the hungry in body and spirit, commitment to listen, teach, and model a life after God’s plan.
But the greatest gift of all was giving his life. How can one do that? In human terms, it is hard to understand. In a life-threatening situation, a parent may choose to sacrifice their own life so that their child could live.
Jesus’ gift was bigger than that, for with his life, he bridged the gap between God the Father and himself. His death represents the ultimate and final blood atonement for sin.
That was unselfish giving, not just for one but for all. In Jesus’ words, “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all, for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Mark 10:45 NIV]
Jesus’ gift will never be too right or too big. It’s just the right kind of one size fits all.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]