Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Joy of Giving

This is truly an exciting time of year. People all around the world follow God's example and give gifts to each other on the day we celebrate the gift of Jesus. 

Matthew, my cousin, is a great example of this. He is still at the age where all of his gifts come from the dollar store, but he is a great example of gift giving. He LOVES it! He can't wait. All he can think about is how much you will love his gift. 

He begged and begged his mother to take him shopping. He wouldn't let her forget. But that is not the best part. Once the shopping was done he could not wait! He HAD to give the gifts out. He would ask his mom if he could give the gifts now... she said no, not yet. 10 minutes later he was asking again. 

He didn't need to give a Wii to be happy. (He gave me a quarter of a bag of candy.) But the look on his face when he gave it had more joy than all the Santa's you've ever seen! He was a cheerful giver. He gave out of what he had. He is an example to me of not only how to give in this season, but always. 

A few years ago I was spending time with a friend from college and he was talking about the verses in Proverbs that talk about how God blesses the generous. That conversation along with Matthew's example inspire me to remember that I do not need to pinch my pennies and withhold generosity. One of the reasons that I am careful with my money is so I can be generous. So that in the moment I can offer to pay for a friend's lunch, buy someone a train ticket, or drive them 50 miles. 

God gives us money as a tool. Something that we can use to bless others. Thrift is good, but not if it makes us forget to spend money freely when the opportunity comes. 

That is what God did when He took on flesh and came among us. He needed to be the all powerful Glorious Creator of all and Judge of the World before He limit Himself and become a part of the creation of that world. He spend what He had and gave Himself as a gift to us that first Christmas. 

Let us follow His example and remember Matthew's joy of giving today and tomorrow. 

by Jeremiah Lorrig
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