“Where your treasure is there will your heart be also”Giving and Christmas go together. Everybody knows that. Even before Ebenezer Scrooge got straightened out by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and went running through the streets of London giving away his wealth, people have identified Christmas with giving. It’s in the air this time of year. There are fund raisers at work and at school, bell ringers in front of every store and shopping mall, and more than a few reminder from the pulpit.
And Americans seem to be listening. More than $260 billion will be given to charitable organizations this time of year (most of it through Christian organizations, by the way!). That’s something we should be glad about. Americans are still the most generous people on earth – and I believe God has blessed us because of it.
And yet, one thing we have to keep in mind during this time of holiday giving, is that the attitude of our hearts toward wealth is something we need to be aware of all year ‘round. Sometimes I find that, even as I’m giving to help the poor and support missions, my foolish heart can be filled with greed. Whether a desire for the latest new gadget, the shiniest jewelry or the biggest HD TV , it’s easy to become discontent with what you have and thus be tempted to give less for those in need in order to have more of what you want.
My prayer for our church --and for every Christian in the prosperous West -- is that God will continue to free us from our obsession with wealth and things that so easily captivate our souls. I pray we will refuse to give in to the thought that says, “I’ve already done enough” and instead will ask God for even greater opportunities to do more to extend His kingdom and meet the needs of those around us who are hurting.
Believers, let’s ask God to make us truly generous all year around with our time, our money and our very lives. Let's give and serve and sacrifice in a way that makes God look good (see Matthew 5:16), and in a way that will leave people no choice but to come to the astounded conclusion that having Him really is more valuable to us than having those things the people of the world live and die to possess.