Our priest from India told the story about an ecstatic young man who drove his new car all around town. He was elated with the car and stopped frequently to share his joy with everyone he met. At one stop a poor boy on the street asked, “How did you get that beautiful new car?”
The young man smiled and proudly said, “My brother bought this new car and gave it to me!”
The boy was silent.
The young man smiled and said, “I know you must be thinking, ‘I wish I had a brother who would give me a car.’”
But the poor boy said, “No, I was wondering how I could become that brother.”
Our attitude toward giving tells a lot about our faith. It tells a lot about the relationships in our family and in God’s family. It tells us a lot about ourselves.
The young boy wanted to grow up as the brother who gave rather than the brother who received. He didn’t envy the young man, but wanted to be like his brother.
He saw the joy in the young man’s face as the reflection of brotherly love and sacrifice. The relationship between the two brothers brought more joy than the gift of a new car and would far outlast it. The young boy wanted that kind of relationship with his younger brother. He wanted the determination and faith to make it happen. He wanted to cause that incredible joy in the life of his own brother.
He was learning that a joyful life of worthwhile sacrifice imitates our gracious Savior. He gave up everything to show us that true joy lies in self-surrendering love. When we surrender our own wants and abide in his love, he makes us sources of joy for others. His life flows through us into the lives of others, beginning with our family and flowing out into our neighborhood and encompassing God’s family.
What is your reaction when someone close to you receives a great gift?
(© 2012 Nancy H C Ward)