By: Mandy Hill
I came across a quote today that spoke straight to my heart. It goes like this:
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John W. Whitehead
I started to think about this statement, specifically with how it relates to the Christmas season. I started to think of our family’s traditions, the ways we celebrate our Saviour’s birth, and where my husband and I exemplify our priorities. Celebrating advent together through daily devotions, operation Christmas box, and the tradition of ‘giving’ are just a few of the things I pray my children will carry on with their own families.
Our culture so very easily becomes engulfed in the spirit of ‘receiving‘. We are all guilty of this to some degree. When chatting with a few of my favourite little people this past weekend I heard the words “What do you think you’ll be getting for Christmas?” leave my own mouth. A conversation starter to a 5, 4 and 3 year old; that’s for certain. There is certainly joy and blessing that comes when you receive. However, why is it that we never ask “What will you be giving this Christmas?”
I’d like to share with you the top three things I’ve learned about giving!!
1. Giving is showing a glimpse of God’s heart to others.
God is THE giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). As His image-bearers we are called to copy His giving, to shed glimpses of His infinitely ginormous heart. The bigger our hearts (and the greater our giving), the larger the picture we paint of God’s character. What do people think of God when they think of the way you use your money?
2. Giving shows I trust God.
The biggest obstacle to giving is fear, the fear that if we give away too much we won’t have enough for this or that. When we give sacrificially, above and beyond what is comfortable and easy, we are expressing our faith and trust in God to provide for us and our families needs. It’s such a joy to see God fulfill His promise of provision when we choose to obey Him.
3. Giving has greater rewards than receiving.
The scriptures say it best: “‘You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.‘” (Acts 20:35) To be used by God to bring blessing to someone else is a FAR bigger blessing than anything this world has to offer me. I dare you to try it!
This post isn’t to discourage you from giving within your own family, or even to make you feel guilty for enjoying those things. It’s simply an urge to have you stop and think about the future. What sort of messages are we sending to that time we will not see through our children? Are we nurturing our children’s hearts to ones that love to give, or hearts that love to get?
Lord Jesus, You are SO good. You have blessed us with so much and I pray that our hearts will always increase in loving to bless others with the many ways that You have blessed us. Thank You for Your examples of sacrificial giving that we can read about in scriptures; including being the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation. We love you SO much and count it our blessing to give. In Jesus name, amen.