They say Christmas is all about the spirit of giving, but sometimes, I do wonder. Isn’t Christmas really about getting stuff?

We get all sorts of gifts, pretty cards, delicious dinners, and more invitations to more parties. The list just goes on and on. I should feel happy, but ironically, this thought has actually made me feel a little guilty.

Recently, I’ve been asking myself: Has God blessed me so much just so that I can keep it all for myself? Why am I locking all my savings away for the proverbial rainy day? Why has He given me so generously?

These questions come just as we prepare to celebrate Christmas—which is, really, the ultimate season of receiving from God. We get the gift of His own Son Jesus, we benefit from Jesus’ death on the cross, and we receive the undeserved gifts of forgiveness, reconciliation, and eternal life (John 3:16, 1 John 3:16, Romans 6:23). As far as our Christmas is concerned, it’s all about receiving!

This truth is challenging to me because whenever I am asked to give, I am tempted to reply: “But I don’t have much to give…”

… To which God’s Word would probably say: “Really?”

Consider what the Bible says about receiving and giving:

We are abundantly blessed. God has not only given us the gift of His Son, but also given us many other blessings in life. James 1:17 notes: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.”

We are called to share what we have, not what we haven’t. God doesn’t demand the impossible; He gives us so that we can give. Deuteronomy 16:17 tells us: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you” (ESV).

In the Bible, many of the people who shared their possessions with the poor, opened their homes to hungry travellers, and took time to help the neglected were themselves poor. The widow who was praised by Jesus for her tiny offering, for example, comes quickly to mind (Mark 12:41–44).

It’s the same with inspiring stories of giving in Singapore. What touched many hearts about a recent article on an 83-year-old man helping other old men was that he had little himself. And the legacy of giving in local history included many ordinary people who selflessly gave of their time and efforts to help the suffering and needy. Just take a walk along the “Spirit of Giving Trail” featured in Locomole, a locally-designed app for self-guided walking trails, and you’ll see that many of the givers were like you and me.

Having received much from God, we are empowered much to give others. It could be a small act of donating a few dollars to a charity, volunteering our time and service when we can, or supporting a needy family.

This Christmas, what have you received? What will you give?

 

Lord, You have blessed me greatly
in so many ways.
Please open my eyes and heart
to the needs of people around me,
that I can give just as I have received from You.

Leslie Koh spent more than 15 years as a journalist in The Straits Times before moving to Our Daily Bread Ministries. He’s found moving from bad news to good news most rewarding, and still believes that nothing reaches out to people better than a good, compelling story. He likes eating (a lot), travelling, running, editing, and writing.

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