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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Real Christmas Spirit

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." (Philippians 2:4 KJV)

"Excuse me, ma’am, but you dropped this!" a woman said as she ran toward two young ladies in the parking lot. I watched her put some crumpled-up bills in the hand of one of them. "I saw you drop this a second ago," she said. It looked to be at least $20 to $40.

As she and I walked in the same direction to the store, I quietly commented, "That was a really nice thing you did, and lots of people wouldn't have." 

"It's Christmas!" she replied with a smile.

"Yeah, but I've got an idea you're like that the other 11 months of the year, too," I said. 

"I try to be," she responded. 

“That's good,” I replied, “because we have a God we'll stand before one day to give an account of stuff like that." 

She agreed, we wished each other a Merry Christmas and went our separate ways.

That may not seem like a big deal to us, but it would if it was our money. There's no telling how devastating losing that money could've been for that young lady. There's also no way of knowing how much the lady who returned it might've needed it. To her, it was more important to do the right thing. Doing right by our fellow man is more than an occasional, seasonal act. She didn't think twice about whether or not to return it. It was just natural for her.

A biblical example is found in the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan found a Jew left for dead alongside the Jericho road (Luke 10:30-37). A priest and a Levite passed by, with neither of them caring to get involved. When the Samaritan came by, he cleaned the man up, doctored him, put him on his own beast, took him to an inn, paid for his care, and even paid extra. He promised to make up the difference on his next trip.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Conrad's Christmas”. It tells the story of a cobbler who asked the Lord to visit him on Christmas Day, and the Lord said He would. After sprucing up his shop, Conrad heard a knock on his door. Rushing to open it, he was disappointed to see a shabby, hungry beggar looking for food. After feeding him and giving him a good pair of shoes, the man thanked him and left. A while later came another knock. This time, it was an old lady gathering firewood. He invited her in to get warm. Later, a little girl who had gotten lost came to his door. Conrad comforted her and walked her home. He noticed the day was almost gone and was sure the Lord had said He'd come. As Conrad prayed that night, God told him He'd kept His promise. He said He'd come to his door three times, and each time was welcomed into his home.

Hebrews 13:2 speaks of entertaining angels unaware by entertaining strangers. As you stand in lines or sit in traffic this Christmas, take time to look on the things of others.  Where would we be if Christ was only concerned with His things and not ours? As these stories show, you might not always get the things you want. But, you'll find out it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. That is the real Christmas Spirit.

Dear Lord, help us to remember keep the Christmas Spirit prevalent in our lives throughout the year. You have never put a season on living right, being a light, and having compassion on those we meet every day, not just at certain times of the year.  You never have an off-season when it comes to meeting our needs. Help us to follow your example so compassion and goodwill toward men will never be out of season.

Copyright © 2021 Andy Hollifield, used with permission.

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