This week is the week of Christmas. It happens to be the season of the year when more people give gifts than at any other time of the year. After all, God loved us so much that He gave His son Jesus. He truly is the supreme model of all gift-givers. That no doubt should be a goal for all of us.
So it is no surprise that we choose this week to study this whole idea of giving. It really is a gift!
You have probably experienced this in the past or maybe even today. You know; the look on the face of a friend or family member is priceless when they receive a gift you picked out for them but particularly when it is something they have been wanting for a while. Obviously, they are excited to receive it. They smile and laugh and maybe even scream about how they can't believe you got it for them and how they will use it all the time.
There is another excitement to observe and experience. That is the one available to you as the giver!
Jesus' saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive", is actually true for those who are intentional about giving to others more than they receive. In fact, I have discovered that the happiest people seem to be those who are more generous.
I read about how the matriarch of a wealthy and politically powerful family would encourage her children every morning at the breakfast table to think about how they could give to or help someone else that day. Then she would have them tell her what they planned to do. Perhaps not coincidentally, in the decades since, her children have gone on to spearhead many charitable causes that have affected millions of people around the world.
There is an argument to be made that giving because you are pressured is not the same as giving because you want to. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church to not give reluctantly or in response to pressure. He went on to tell us that God loves a person who gives cheerfully. Truly, The true spirit of giving is doing for others with no expectation of gain. Those are the times when you can expect that amazing feeling of joy that someone else is blessed. And it is in those times when you will find yourself blessed even more!
So here is the challenge: Start becoming intentional about being generous with your giving. Make it a part of each day when you invest a few minutes each morning to think about how you can bless someone today. Think of something you may have that maybe you really don't need and that could possibly bless a friend or family member.
I am convinced that if each of us were to simply take a few minutes each day, think about this gift of generosity and then act on it, more and more people will be impacted with the love of God.