As we come into full swing of the “Season of Giving” it seems everyone is out and about looking to find the items on their lists. As I’ve sat and thought about this title for the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve been brought me to a place of analyzing the true heart behind this season that has everyone in an annual frenzy.
It seems to be a rarity that people nowadays actually spend time thinking what someone would truly like and appreciate in a gift but rather we find ourselves just fulfilling orders of what loved ones “want”. The lists provided to family and friends are often in order of most importance with highlights and stars next to the must haves. Then the big day comes. If the order wasn’t fulfilled just right there’s always the tried-and-true fall back plan of attaching a trusty gift receipt. Many flock to the stores the following day to return gifts in hopes to get enough credit for what they were “supposed to receive.”
The act of genuine giving has become an inconvenience.
So, as Christians, what makes us different? What sets us apart from the rest of our society? Well unfortunately we, much like everyone else, can easily get caught up in the commotion and we lose sight of that which we were intended for. I believe that as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father it is in our very DNA to live life differently.
And how will the world know that we are different? John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.By a demonstration of love we will be known as His.
While there are many different demonstrations of love, our Father displayed it perfectly for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17). The ultimate demonstration of God’s love is in His giving.
In the very first chapters of the Bible it is very clear that we are created in His image. We were created to be givers. And not just of physical gifts but OF OURSELVES. We were created to have eyes to see past what someone may express a desire for in the natural to be able to see a gift that could touch a heart and change someone for eternity.
So during this “Season of Giving”, I encourage you take a moment and rethink how you give. I’m not saying to throw out the idea of getting presents for each other, but maybe plan to go serve at your local food shelter. Or maybe put together Christmas presents for that child whose parents aren’t around. Or maybe it’s as simple as walking across the street to that neighbor who lives alone and has no family.
Embrace your God-given gift of giving and reach out in love in a new way. Because when you realize how much was given for you, you naturally give much in response.