Welcome to the 25 Days of Giving. Each day we’ll focus on a different way you can teach your kids to give to others. If you missed the start of this series, you can find it here. Put the focus on giving instead of getting at Christmas this year because Jesus was a gift to us. Join in the fun by reading each day, then posting in the comments ways that you help your kids give to others at Christmas. Don’t forget to share this series with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
We were getting ready to go to hockey practice last night when we couldn't find my younger daughter's practice jersey or socks. I looked everywhere, then I opened the washing machine and there they were -- still wet. I was sure I had thrown them in the dryer the night before, but apparently my brain had the thought, but my hands did not follow through on the action.
I quickly dried what had to be dried the best I could, and we took off for hockey. Halfway there, we realized we had left yesterday's giving item at home. In yesterday's box, my daughter found four notecards with quarters taped to them. The direction for the day was to leave those notecards on the arcade games at the ice rink for others to find.
Getting to play the arcade games at the rink is a rare occurrence for my daughter. We're at the rink three to four times a week, so we rarely hand out quarters. If she wants to bring her own quarters, I'm fine with that, but she rarely brings them. In our house playing the video games is a big treat, which is why giving quarters away is a big deal.
Not only does giving those quarters away let my daughter share the joy she gets in playing the video games, but it allows her to give with no expectation of receiving anything in return. The direction was to simply leave the quarters on the machine. She might get to see someone find them or she might not. She might get to participate in the joy of seeing another child get excited about finding the quarters or she might not, but she knows that she provided a moment of joy for another child.
Giving away those quarters is a lot like sharing Jesus with others. Sometimes when we share Jesus with a friend, we get to see them decide to follow Him. Other times, we just get to plant the seed and someone else will get to share in the joy when they decide to follow Jesus. Instant gratification isn't always part of sharing the gospel with others. It's like what Paul had to say in 1 Corinthians 3:6: "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow."
The lesson in giving away the quarters is that sometimes we do things -- give gifts, share Jesus, be kind -- because it's the right thing to do, not because we'll get to see the fruits of our labor.
So, on Friday when we head to the rink, we'll be placing the quarters on the arcade games. We might see the joy that ensues, and we might not, but we will have given a precious gift to another child.
Who can you bless with a gift of kindness today with no expectation of seeing the joy of receiving?
For more great ideas to keep your kids’ attention focused on Christ in the Christmas season, check out my Everyday Christmas e-book. You’ll find lots of simple to implement ideas to create a Christ-centered Christmas.