Column: Giving

Christmas is not the season of receiving; it’s the season of giving.

I know this might seem cliché because we hear about this every Christmas, but Christians should be the biggest givers at Christmas. I am not referring to a dollar store gift or even a new iPad.

I am referring to a sacrificial gift: the kind of giving that should characterize Christians, that should be true in my life and your life, and that models Christ’s sacrificial giving.

It is this kind of giving that is often forgotten at Christmas.

It is hard for me to be sacrificial because I am a selfish human being. It is hard for me to give because I prefer getting. It is hard for me to love because there is a lot of pain.

But God has been showing me over and over again that giving is not about me. He has shown me that He gives me the strength to do difficult and uncomfortable things. He transformed my life from sinner to saved sinner, and that was the most sacrificial gift of all, and I need to follow His example of giving.

There are so many ways to give this Christmas. You could get a group together to spend time at a rescue mission or soup kitchen. You could anonymously buy groceries for a family that you know is struggling. You could assemble a care package to send to soldiers on deployment. You could take time to talk to someone that you know needs encouragement. You could go to an elderly couple’s home and sing carols to them and visit with them. You could help with a ministry outreach at your church. Most importantly, you could use the Christmas story to give the Gospel to an unbeliever.

These are just a few possible ways to get involved this Christmas. It is so easy to go from the BJU bubble to our home bubble and accomplish nothing but eating, having fun and sleeping.

Although eating, having fun and sleeping are advised, they can be to a college student what kryptonite is to Superman. We can let our personal enjoyment get in the way of the most important thing: spreading God’s love to the world.

In addition, do not just look at my list and decide there is nothing for you to do. Many opportunities await us, and these opportunities do not always fall in our lap. We might actually have to go out of our way to find them and go out of our comfort zone to do them.

The prospects are there, so we cannot hide from them but, rather, we must run toward them. We have one life to live for Christ so let’s live it as He would live it; let’s live it giving to others without thought of getting in return.

This Christmas, try to go beyond the traditional boxed and wrapped gifts and give someone a meaningful conversation, your time, groceries, a letter, music or, most importantly, the Christmas story.