When There’s No Extra Present

Sometimes the best kind of selflessness is unplanned. We often define selflessness by scheduling time to teach a Bible study, volunteer, or help someone in need.

Don’t get me wrong—all of these things are important, and they are selfless! However, the true state of our heart is tested when God throws us into a situation where we have to act fast. Will we choose to satisfy ourselves, or will we humbly give of ourselves to put others first?

One of my favorite stories of selflessness comes from a high school youth trip several Christmases ago. My church had bought toys and wrapped presents for children at a daycare program in a poor, rural town in Alabama. As the program director called the children’s names to receive their gifts, the children were ecstatic.

However, we soon realized that not all of the children there got a present—only the children who were enrolled in the program for five days a week. Had we known this before, we would have wrapped extra presents for the other children, but it was too late.

My friend Catherine went to comfort one of the children who hadn’t received a present. As they talked, Catherine noticed that this girl had her ears pierced.

“Do you like to wear earrings?” Catherine asked. The child nodded. Then Catherine reached up to her own ears and began removing her earrings. “These are your Christmas present. I hope you like them.”

The little girl was thrilled to receive such a special gift. Catherine had not planned to serve by giving away her personal jewelry, but she responded to a child in need. God’s call to service requires complete submission as we listen to His voice and obey as He leads. That is a true selfless heart!


Rachel Sinclair is a student at Samford University and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at rsinclai@samford.edu.







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