December 14, 2005


Many of us are obsessing about gifts as we approach Christmas. After all, isn't that what the holiday is all about? It's easy to think that way if you allow yourself to cave in under the avalanche of advertising in every form of media this time of year.

It can be very difficult to keep anything in perspective at this time of year with the pressure of preparing the holiday for children, fighting the hordes of shoppers at the mall, working toward the end of a semester at school, or being crushed by the pressure of year-end requirements at work. Here's some help.

2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."

Especially at this time of the year, it is important (and often more difficult) to remember why we are exchanging gifts and gathering with our families. Christmas is all about giving, but remember the greatest gift of all was Jesus. God gave him to mankind to provide a path to salvation, to bless mankind with the gift of eternal life if we accepted him as our Lord and Savior. He didn't have to do that--he wanted to.

As He has in every aspect or our lives, God has provided an example for how we should give, as Paul wrote about in the above scripture. This applies to the gifts we give to each other, to be sure, but it goes well beyond that.

As we are preparing to stack gifts beneath our Christmas tree, we need to remember those less fortunate. What have we done for them? Do we have excess we could have shared with them? Is there one gift we purchased we could have done without and given those funds to a group or individual who NEEDED it?

Even more importantly, have we given what we can to God? Have we invested in electronic gadgets, jewelry, and toys and not given the Lord a part of our wealth? If we have given back, did we make a big production presenting our donation or did we quietly slip it in the collection plate or in the mail? Did we do it for His glory, or for ours?

When were're stuck in traffic driving to the mall or standing in line at a store, let's take a moment to think about that. By addressing the distribution of our funds, we can find our where our hearts are and where they need to be.

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