As the Christmas season goes into full swing, it seems as though everyone is thinking about the same thing: Gifts. Pandemic or economic woes cannot stop the yuletide spirit of generosity. While It may not be as merry or jolly as some would have hoped, the mission to put smiles on faces through the act of gifting is an objective for many.
Since the season is known for generosity to loved ones and the needy, we should look at why and how Christians ought to give. Amazingly, after some research, I found out that as human beings we really own nothing. Think about it, what do you really own? We don’t even own our lives. Everything we have, are things given to us by God who created and owns all things. This true paradigm clearly makes us stewards of the gifts of God.
Our stewardship means that when we give to our fellow men, we are merely giving to God a portion of what he owns anyway. Hence, the love that spurs the act of giving can also be perceived as a measure of one’s love for God. The Bible makes a number of cases to buttress the reason believers shouldn’t shy away from giving. If we look at 1 Timothy 6:17-18 – “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share”, it teaches that the rich should have their hope set on God and be ready to give out their wealth.
Meanwhile, I believe the ultimate case for the importance of giving, was the example God set by giving us Jesus for the salvation of man. If God gave His son as proof of His love for man and in my opinion, it makes a compelling argument on how you know a loving person. A loving person must be a generous one.
Giving can also be seen to be an expression of faith. We know this because in the book of James 2: 15-17, – Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” We see an explanation that a believer’s faith becomes useful when it is expressed through works. In the context of this article, it refers to how we give. Giving calls for more blessings to the giver as well. Whilst this isn’t a trade by barter of some sort, it means that we cannot outgive God. As Philippians 4:15-19 teaches, believers shouldn’t worry too much when giving since God will supply our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.
Imbibing a culture of giving produces a natural willingness to work. In order to have what to give, one must have a verifiable source of income. Giving should also be done in humility and not to feed one’s ego. Giving should be done in secret as detailed in Matthew 6:1-4.
As we plan to give in different ways during this Christmas season, we should ensure we do so as true believers. Christmas isn’t just a commercial prop. We know the importance of the birth of Christ and what it meant for God to give us Jesus – His only begotten son. Our role in this season is what sets us apart as Christians. The love we show through our generosity is what God expects from us.
Make God proud as you celebrate the reason for the season in your action and deeds.
Ogo Adelakun writes on diverse subjects.