What Ever Happened to Giving?

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By Myrna Conrad

We think of the Christmas season as a time of giving. We spend hours looking for the perfect gifts for our loved ones and friends. We worry and fret as we try to find what everyone wants and find the money and time to buy it. Giving often ends up giving us more stress rather than blessing us.

However, if we are honest with ourselves, we also think about getting this time of year. As children, our thoughts were more focused on what we wanted for Christmas than what we were going to give. Children make lists, visit Santa in the mall (or at least they did before this year), try to be more nice than naughty, and count down the days until they can wake up before dawn and open their presents. But even as adults, we often find ourselves thinking of those boxes under the tree that are labeled with our name. God tells us in His Word (Acts 20:35) that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” So, how do we turn our hearts more toward giving rather than receiving this year?

Let’s stop and look at why we are giving and what we are giving. When giving, we want to do it with the pure motivation of caring and love, not obligation or recognition. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that God loves a cheerful giver.

Many give to others through charitable organizations around Christmas. In fact, more people give to charitable organizations in December than any other time of the year. Sometimes this rush toward giving before the end of the year is because of the tax break. That’s not to say that these gifts are only given for that reason. People normally give to organizations that are fulfilling needs that they care about. These organizations cannot continue to bless others without those monetary gifts, but what about giving of your time to volunteer in a not-for-profit near you? Our time is one of the most precious gifts we can give. There are a lot of people in need in our country right now. Get together with family or friends and think of some creative ways to help those in need. Some of the most amazing blessings come from working with and helping those in need.

Do you want to be more generous? Here are a few strategies:

Be Aware.
– Be aware of what the needs are around you.
– Think about why you are compelled to give in any situation.
– Think about who will be affected by your generosity.
– Realize giving isn’t just monetary.
– Give with a cheerful heart.

Be Intentional.
– Look for ways to give of your time, talents and money.
– Teach your children to participate in helping others and giving to others, not just getting.
– Spend more time with people than money on people this Christmas.
– If you are giving monetarily to a cause or organization, find out all that you can about that organization and how they steward their finances.
– Remember that you are the steward of everything that God has given you. Be a good and generous steward.

We celebrate in December each year the most beautiful, generous, and selfless gift that was ever given. Jesus was willing to give up everything He had to come to this earth so that we could be given everything we need.

Give generously with your whole heart this holiday season.