We are only 10 days away from Christmas Day. On that particular day, most of you will gather with your family around a Christmas tree and swap gifts. For kids, this is their favorite part of Christmas, PRESENTS! I remember when I was young my brother, sister and I would get up bright and early on Christmas Day and run into my parents’ room and wake them up. After all, the presents were waiting for us under the tree with our names on them!
As I have gotten older my favorite part of Christmas has changed somewhat. Sure, I still love opening presents, just ask my wife. I’m like a big kid when it comes to Christmas presents. I love to shake them and try and guess what the gift is before I open it. However, even more than opening presents, I enjoy giving presents. I know it’s hard to believe someone would enjoy giving more than receiving, but that’s exactly how I feel. I’m not typically a fan of shopping except during this time of year. I love going and looking for the perfect gift and then giving that gift to the person I picked it out for. When Miranda opens her presents from me, I’m probably more excited about it than she is, well…probably not, but you get the point. I love giving Christmas gifts to others because of the joy it brings.
This is the time of year where giving gifts to others is a common practice. We give those gifts with smiles on our faces. However, outside the Christmas season, how often do we give gifts to others? If we are truly honest with ourselves, thinking about that might cause us to feel bad because sometimes we’re not very giving outside of the Christmas season.
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). You may be thinking, “But I am fairly good when it comes to giving.” If that’s you then ask yourself, “What’s my motive for giving?” Our motives really tell the story behind our giving. We may give a gift to someone, but is it because we expect something in return? Jesus said, “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount” (Luke 6:34). Perhaps, you give not to gain something in return, but in order to be noticed by people. It’s that type of motive Jesus had in mind when He said, “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:2-4).
Friends, this is the most wonderful time of the year because of the giving attitude that most all those around us have. It is this kind of attitude that we should have every season. I hope and pray that the giving attitude you have this holiday season will be one that continues throughout the entire New Year!
Now that’s Something to Think About!