As a follower of Christ I think Stewart has it half right when he notes that we are here to help other people out. The religious scholars asked Jesus what a purpose driven life should look like.

"Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?" 
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."   (Matthew 22, The Message)

During this Christmas season I am challenging you to join me in trying Larry Stewart’s experiment. Go buy yourself a gadget or outfit or bauble. Note the reading on your personal joy meter. Then go give money to a desperate Mom trying to make ends meet. Or give some cash to an elderly couple who can’t pay the heating bill. Deliver a Christmas gift to children who would not receive gifts any other way. Then see which action has given you real joy. Was it acquiring more stuff or meeting real needs in the lives of others? Larry Stewart learned that lesson. And the world is a better place because of the revelation he experienced on a cold December day twenty-seven years ago.

Pray about what you can give this Christmas. Remember that Larry Stewart started small. I pray that you will receive the kind of joy that drove the Kansas City “Secret Santa” for twenty-seven years. The chance to witness the surprised joy of a person receiving an unexpected and much needed gift. Kind of like salvation, isn’t it? That is the gift that Jesus brought to Bethlehem two millenia ago. And that is another gift we should be eager to share this season.

Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through

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