It’s Better to Give

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

One thing we talked about during a recent house church (small group) meeting was what we do within our own households to keep the focus on God during the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There is so much focus on the actual holiday festivities- the meals, the guests, the activities, the gifts, the tradition, etc., that it’s very easy to lose sight of God through it all.

I know in my own household, we need to do a better job of regularly reminding our children of the reason for each season. In general, they do know why we celebrate each holiday in the manner that we do, but I find that it takes extra effort to reinforce the message and how Christ should be the center of it all.

Even though it seems like a fairly straightforward thing to do, I find it challenging for us to really ingrain that into our kids, especially at their age. They definitely still look at Christmas as a day of receiving gifts, although they know in their minds that it’s a celebration of our Savior’s birth. We are trying to do practical things to get their focus onto God and blessing others, but I know that it will continue to be a process as the attraction of gifts, holiday vacation, and holiday parties can easily sway their attention.

As adults, are we being distracted by the same things, or are we able to truly focus on the important things during this time of year? Are we thanking and worshipping God, giving back to the community, and helping those less fortunate than us enjoy the holidays as well?

This is not to guilt trip anyone into doing something that you don’t want to do, but as followers of Christ, we should naturally have hearts for the homeless, imprisoned, widows, orphans, impoverished, sick, etc. If you look around, there should be many opportunities in your area for you and your families to share God’s love in a very tangible way! And for those of us who are parents, what better way to teach your children that it is better to give than to receive?

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas and the end of 2015 is right around the corner. I’d like to challenge each of one of you, whether you’re parents or not, to make a conscious effort of magnifying Christ within your homes, your workplace, and hopefully out in your communities!

I know we will all have conversations with co-workers, classmates, family members, and neighbors about our holiday plans. How can we communicate our love and excitement to celebrate what Christ has done in our lives, as we share those plans? How can we bring up Jesus, the reason for the season, in our conversations? And how can we use some of the extra time we get off and the gifts we ourselves receive, to bless others?

Let’s be a people who love God first and foremost, and whose love for Him manifests in an outpouring of love for others! I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

[From November 30, 2015]

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