Gonna keep it short and sweet: My prayer this season is that people will give and not stop giving.
But I’m not talking about typical giving. You see, we’re so caught up in the giddy high of the physical gift-giving that has become synonymous with Christmas that we’ve forgotten how to give what matters: the heart.
Perhaps a gift that costs next to nothing financially may mean more to someone than the expensive gift we think they want?
Seems like a few other people have been thinking along these lines recently.
Though this blog post has been percolating in my mind for a few weeks, I went on Facebook this week and found this quote in my BFF Tricia’s status update:
“There are many who are in need of encouragement at this time of year,” says Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries. “They don’t need a Christmas present; they need His Christmas presence. Remember the essential message of Christmas, which is Immanuel—God is with us. And for the hurting person, the lonely person, the sorrowing person, this is the time of year to bring the gift of encouragement to them and say, “The message of Christmas is: God will be with you. God will help you. God will strengthen you.”
Then at Urban Faith blog, a group called Generous Giving was being spotlighted. I had never heard of it before, but I knew that my reading about it today was yet another confirmation that this topic of “giving from the heart” was what God wanted me to focus on.
I think we’ve got the whole “Christmas is about giving” thing a little twisted. Yes, God gave His Son to us as the ultimate gift, and we, in turn, give gifts at Christmas in remembrance of that original gift.
But the beauty of God’s gift is that He keeps on giving, and not just at Christmas. He gives unconditionally, whether we are worn out, in a bad mood, sick, overwhelmed, confused, can’t give back, won’t give back… whatever!
His heart’s desire is that we become continuous, deeply loving, caring givers, and in heart-changing ways. Like Father, like kids. He wants us to perfect our gift of giving.
The type of giving that honors God will make a dent, not necessarily only in our pocketbook, but in our hearts and in the hearts of those whose lives we impact. The gifts of love, patience, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, hope, forgiveness … How deeply some of us yearn to receive them!
Could this be the year when we revive the lost art of giving our hearts to others?
How do you plan to give life-altering gifts this year?