For the past month, my pastor has been doing a sermon series on “money myths.” When he first announced that we were doing a series on money, and more importantly giving, I rolled my eyes. It didn’t hit me until last week that his timing for the series was probably not a coincidence. It fell right before the beginning of Advent, right before Black Friday, right before the biggest time of spending for Americans and many others around the world.
One of the biggest takeaways I had from this series is the importance of giving. The series focused on 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
1 Timothy 6:17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
So why is giving important? The first and most obvious answer to this is that God commands us to be generous. We are commanded to give not only our money, but our time and talents as well. Another reason is that giving helps remind us that the blessings we have received are not from ourselves, but from God. God has been generous towards us, so how can we not be generous towards others?
I feel that now, more than any other time during the year, it is important for us to focus on giving and being generous. It is so easy to get swept up in the consumerism that seems to dominate the Christmas season. Focusing on giving and generosity helps bring us out of that mindset and into a mindset that focuses on God and what we can do for His Kingdom.
There was on quote in particular from my pastor that really stuck with me. “When you look through the lens of eternity, everything right will seem wise and everything wrong will seem incredibly foolish.” This Christmas season I am committing myself to make more wise choices when it comes to giving. Will you join me?
Need some ideas to get started? Be a part of Giving Tuesday. It’s a growing movement to encourage people to give back more, focusing specifically on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Another way is to get involved with Advent Conspiracy. “Advent Conspiracy is a global movement of people and churches resisting the cultural Christmas narrative of consumption by choosing a revolutionary Christmas through Worshipping Fully, Spending Less, Giving More and Loving All.” These are just a few ideas, but there are many ways to give generously.
Join us the rest of December, as we look at generosity from a biblical perspective and also share some of the stories we’ve heard from friends and colleagues. Our hope is that you all will be inspired by this series on generosity.