We hear so many uplifting stories at Christmas that we tend to let the real meaning slip through our souls without actually allowing it to affect us and our lives. We continue to put the emphasis on presents to others and even make giving more of a monetary thing rather than a Christlike endeavor. 1 Timothy says that the world will become lovers of themselves in the end and I believe this is happening in leaps and bounds.
We are so blinded to how materialistic our society has become that even when we try to focus on the good and what Christmas is truly about, we still end up mingling materialistic values to it. An example would be the various charities that solicit money or toys for needy families and children. They categorize different amounts of money that’s been given. If you give $1000.00 you may be a “Platinum” giver or if you give $100.00 you may be called a “Bronze” giver. This is quite common in charity organizations all year long and what it does is give more appreciation to those who gave more money. If I remember correctly, Jesus didn’t look at the amount of money given. He saw the sacrifice instead. We need to give even when it hurts.
Wow, that’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when you see the bills lining up that you don’t know how you’re going to pay if you give what you believe you’re supposed to give. I fall into that category, myself. I have a goal to give %15 every month to those in need as my tithe. I have not met that goal every month and it’s frustrating. Honestly, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to make my other bills if I give this much every month. I believe I have missed 2 months this year. What it boils down to is a lack of faith on my part to believe that God will provide when I don’t see it in the immediate future. Plain and simple. But this is my point. This is what I believe I’m supposed to do in order to grow my faith and to be a light to others who may be in darkness. If I can splurge and give over Christmas to those in need, I’m just digging a hole that will not be filled by my faith. BUT, if I can give just a little more than I necessarily can guarantee that I have (or will have), then I can grow my faith by watching how God provides for me that little extra in order for me to make my bills.
I’m not saying go buy a 42″ Plasma TV for the homeless guy you see walking down the street. How practical is that? You’re in debt and he’s got no appreciation for something he can’t use. What I am saying is go provide someone something that he needs (groceries, pay the light bill, a warm coat) while you go without that Grande Cappucino with extra sprinkles that you didn’t need to be paying for anyway.
There are ways for us to get around this materialistic mess and really open our hearts to the joy and peace Jesus brought with His birth. Don’t just hold that door open for the person behind you walking into the store, do a little something extra for him or her. That’s how we grow our hearts and they won’t be so cold.
Just my observations….