Our Christmas Offering


{We Three Kings by Simon Dewey}

You’ve probably heard of Norman Vincent Peale. But if not, he was minister and author {The Power of Positive Thinking and many others}, and he and his wife started the Guideposts religious magazine. He tells of an experience he had on a cold Christmas Eve while shopping with his father when he was about twelve years old. In The Positive Principle Today, pages 292-95, he writes:

I was thinking how good it would be to get home, when a beggar – a bleary-eyed, unshaven, dirty old man – came up to me, touched my arm with a hand like a claw, and asked for money. He was so repulsive that instinctively I recoiled. Softly my father said, “Norman, it’s Christmas Eve. You shouldn’t treat a man that way.”

…”Dad,” I complained, “he’s nothing but a bum.”

“But he’s still a child of God,” my father said.

He then handed me a dollar – a lot of money for those days and certainly for a preacher’s income. “I want you to take this and give it to that man,” he said. “Speak to him respectfully. Tell him you are giving it to him in Christ’s name.”

“Oh Dad,” I protested, “I can’t do anything like that.”

My father’s voice was firm. “Go and do as I tell you.”

So, reluctant and resisting, I ran after the old man and said, “Excuse me, sir. I give you this money in the name of Christ.”

He stared at the dollar bill, then looked at me in utter amazement. A wonderful smile came to his face, a smile so full of life and beauty that I forgot that he was dirty and unshaven… Graciously he said, “And I thank you, young sir, in the name of Christ.”

All my irritation, all my annoyance faded away. The street, the houses, everything around me suddenly seemed beautiful because I had been part of a miracle that I have seen many times since – the transformation that comes over people when you think of them as children of God, when you offer them love in the name of a Baby born two thousand years ago in a stable in Bethlehem, a Person who still lives and walks with us and makes His presence known.


I’m thankful for this uplifting story that reminds me, yet again, that we are all children of God, and that we have a responsibility to love, respect, and treat others as Christ would and as we would want to be treated and loved ~ The Golden Rule. Among the gifts we can offer Christ, in exchange for the many gifts we have received, are the love and kindness we show others. What a wonderful lesson Mr. Peale taught his son, Norman, that day, and Norman has passed it on so we, too, may learn from it.

I hope you’re having a blessed Christmas season.


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