You become the target of advertisers every Christmas. To drive revenue up, they tell you it is “the season for giving.” Well, yes. It is, but what type of giving are they referring to? Because there are a lot of reasons for people to give. Here are a few:
You feel an obligation to help. Although feelings around giving can be both positive or negative, giving out of guilt is just another way of dealing with a sense of condemnation. They give to lighten their moral load.
Life happens. Things can go from bad to worse. Whether some thing has broken and needs to be replaced, or [heaven forbid] fallen ill, suffered death or loss; something terrible has happened. And it may hurt twice as much if you don’t have the means to open your wallet and pony-up.
Do you know anyone that simply participates in the latest trends and “follows the flock?” They usually start by using special words to encourage generosity; talking highly of their “philanthropic” endeavors and their “altruistic” values.” No need to be prayerfully guided when you are guided by the masses. It’s good to give back.
It’s easier to give when you expect a reward. That reward might be a good feeling as you prove yourself to be a fantastic human-being. Others give with the agenda. Consider the ROI; the return on investment. Are you sowing to reap a harvest? (For the record, reaping usually requires some hard, sweaty work.) Or do you just want to suck up as much treasure as you can get?
Look like a celebrity. It costs nothing when you have so much already. Give and let others give because you are important and indispensable. The appearance of generosity may not accurately reflect the investment of the heart. As Fernando Lamas once said “It’s better to look good than to feel good.”
It is true that giving is a righteous act, but all too often our hearts go unchecked as we get pushed and pressured into it. Here’s two more:
“God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Yes, cheerful giving is best. Righteous givers are joyful. They don’t don’t stop to think if they have to give; they want to give and participate in the moment, the cause, or make things a little better. They know money is not enough, but friendship holds great potential. God responds to unity among His people. And if you are a believer in Christ, it is good and right to give into what god is doing. Because whatever God is doing, he is also blessing.
You cannot out-give God. The real reason Christians give is to reflect to goodness of God. And at Christmas, we remember how God gave. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son?” (John 3:16a) God the Father gave – withholding nothing from us – because He loved, and because it was a gift that was needed.
We were all on the “naughty list,” but God still gave you His greatest gift. There was no box. No ribbons. No needs were even spoken of! God knew what you needed and He gave without hesitation. Without reservation. The floodgates of heaven’s love were opened at Christmas.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”Isaiah 9:6
Give, because generosity brings hope.