“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” — John 15:13
Very shortly after I became a Christian, a dear friend told me, “You know, Tony, the heart is never happier than when it beats for others.” I didn’t know what that meant then but I believe I know what it means now.
Albert Einstein once reflected on the purpose of man’s existence:
“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others…for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
When we truly take stock of our lives, we must admit we have done nothing solely on our own. Our thinking has been fashioned by our many teachers and mentors, including family members. Our ability to function physically is the result, in part, of our genetic code and the productivity of others in providing food, water, and shelter. Our spiritual lives are a gift of God Himself. We are what we have received.
Our reaction to these facts drives each of us to give to others the good things we have been fortunate to receive. That is what being a citizen of God’s kingdom is all about!
We give God’s love by loving others. We give God’s mercy by serving others. We give God’s life by telling others. Loving—serving—telling—these are the greatest gifts we can give for the holidays!