Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gotta Give It

I love this time of year! I love the lights, the trees and especially the gifts. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. Everywhere you look this season, people will say that Christmas is about giving. That’s why there are traffic jams at your local mall. We all like getting gifts, but what about giving gifts? The simple definition of the word gift states that it’s “something given to someone for pleasure or to show gratitude.” When it comes down to it, is that why we often give? Is it to show pleasure or gratitude? What motivates us to give? Is it to show gratitude or is to out of selfish motives?

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

What we can see from this verse is that giving is never supposed to be an obligation, but it is a matter of the heart. We should never have ulterior motives when it comes to giving gifts. We shouldn’t give out of obligation or out of the hopes of getting something bigger and nicer. If you give out of obligation, then most of the time you give grudgingly or halfhearted. That removes the joy that should come in giving. We should give because we want to bring pleasure to someone else and we want to show our gratitude. That’s what giving is all about. When you give with right motives, your heart is cheerful. That’s what God desires.

I was watching Fox News the other day and they were interviewing Jewel. I guess she’s teaming up with MasterCard to give away some money. I found it interesting what she said about giving. Jewel said, “It doesn’t matter what your motives are. The results are the same.” Is that really the case for Christians? Throughout the Bible, it talks about what matters most is the heart and your motives. If fact, one verse says that “man looks at the outward, but God looks at the heart.” It’s all about our heart. Our motives spring up from our heart.

Think about how you are going to give to others this season. When you make your Christmas list, make a list of the motives behind why you are going to give. Every time you shop or think about gifts this season, ask yourself “Does God love my attitude toward giving?”

Merry Christmas!
Sarah Bragg

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