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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hilarious Giving

The holiday season is rushing to meet us. Thanksgiving Day is just one week away and merchants are already pushing Christmas. It is appropriate that we pause to count our blessings and give thanks for them before we dive into Christmas when the focus all too often is on getting rather than giving.
Our church has always collected donations for needy families the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It is usually a grocery shower but sometimes a money shower is more practical. That is the case this year with at least one of the families living in another state. We will be collecting money on Sunday for three families who have had large and on-going medical bills this year. The father of one family died recently after a battle with cancer and just after his wife was also diagnosed with cancer.
Last evening we were discussing the money shower and how much we should contribute for each family. Leroy named a figure and my immediate response was (to my shame), "Where are you going to get that kind of money?"
He said, "If we wanted something for ourselves we would find the money."
Gulp. He's right. The amount he suggested is small in comparison to what we have spent on oursleves this year. We have replaced our car, freezer, and refrigerator. All three were 20-44 years old and/or inoperative, so they really did need to be replaced. We have been greatly blessed and could do it without financing. We could give the amount he suggested without hardship. Why did I bulk?
I don't like to admit I'm selfish but it sticks out all over, doesn't it? Be honest. Is it true that I can't afford to give or do I just not want to?
And that's what too often makes the holidays a headache. It's the season of greed and all about ME. What I want for myself is more important than what I am willing to give to someone else. I need to learn to be more Christ-like. He had all the wealth of heaven but sacrificed it to come to earth and be my servant.
At Thanksgiving and Christmas (especially) our focus should be on what we can do for others rather than what we want to do for ourselves. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The Greek word translated cheerful is hilaros, from which we get our word "hilarious." Am I going to give just enough to soothe my conscience because it is expected or will I give sacrificially, hilariously?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or as Steve Green puts it in the children's song..."Don't give till it hurts- give till it tickles!" Thanks for your honesty!