Do you feel a weight is lifted off of you because Christmas is over? The hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, and giving is over! Everyone got a gift and you are throwing in the towel of giving time, money, and effort all in and taking a relaxing break! As pleasant as that sounds, do you think that’s really what God wants for us? I don’t think God wants us to give once a year or even use our tithes as “giving to others”. What makes us think we can just quit?
Most of the time we stop relying on God so we think that everything is “fine and dandy” in our lives. When in reality we look and act like a “pig in a pigs pen” to God. You see if we don’t fix our eyes on God we loose focus of our path and our purpose. God gave us life. God gave us salvation. God gives us blessings. God gives us another day to live. God gives you food to eat. God gave you that job you drive to everyday. God gave you the family you are arguing with and hate at times. God gave you a home to live in. God gives you air to breath. God gives you each beat that your heart beats to keep you alive. And in one insist – He can take it all away….. Everything gone… Your life, your world, your blessings – He could stop it all… Everything, even down to the last beat of your heart. If He gives us so much on a daily basis, why can’t we give when He tells us to?
One word: Fear. We fear that if we give money to people we don’t know we will go broke. We fear if we give a little bit of our time we will “miss” something important. (When in all reality- we miss so much more when we don’t give.) We fear that if we give we will enjoy it. Maybe even if we give God will force us to travel the world and become a missionary. We fear these things and more, but what does God say about?
In Proverbs 3:28 he says, “Do not say to your neighbor, “Go and come back, & tomorrow I will give it.”, When you have it with you.”
“Ok, so what does this have to do with anything”, you may ask. Well what it’s saying there is. Don’t be selfish. Don’t tell your friend or neighbor that you can’t give it to them because you don’t have it (when you reall do), but come tomorrow and I’ll give it to you, (or what’s left of it). Still not making any sense? Ok let’s break it down even simpler. In school you lied about one thing all the time to you friends. Can you guess why? Ok let me play it out for you:
“Hey! Do you have any gum?” (knowing that you have gum you look up at your friend. Knowing that if you have one price of gum, the whole pack would be gone in 5.5 seconds, because it would be devoured by your other friends who would then want gum to. So you answer back.) “No I don’t have any I’m sorry. I left it at home. Maybe tomorrow I’ll bring it.” (You smile and your friend walks off . You have gum in your pocket for you alone.)
Now you maybe laughing at your phone or remembering a time in school you did this, But that is what the verse is saying. Don’t do that. Don’t lie to your friends or someone in need saying you don’t have it. And don’t say go away and come back tomorrow when I can give it to you- when you have it in your pocket to give.
How many times have you turned people away like that? Maybe more times than you can count? I’m guilty of it. I’ve do this as well, but why is it important for us to give it then and not wait until tomorrow? For Two reasons: 1. If we give it then, we don’t have time to doubt God. We go on faith that He is going to restore our needs. And we will receive a blessing as well. 2. If we wait we have time to “talk ourselves out of giving”. We do this all the time, wether it’s shopping or giving we as humans “talk ourselves out of things”. If we wait we would have tried to half it, hide it, give ourselves a bigger part of it, we may even act as if we forgot about it, or lie and say we lost it.
In Acts 20:35 it says, “I have shown you in every way by laboring like this that you must support the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he said,”It is more blessed to give than to receive.”.”
We must support the weak? What are you saying? We do that enough with our taxes and hand outs we have… No that is not what this is talking about. The weak in this passage means, the elderly, the orphans, children that have nothing, the people who work and work but still are struggling because they are paying their bills and trying to help themselves in life, the people would are hurt physically, our veterans that need help after the war. The weak is not meaning those who act poor but have more than me, or those would blow their money on drugs and alcohol but can’t pay their bills. We are not to shun these people, but God tells us we need to share with them about His love.
When we think giving – we think money, time, food… But it can mean: love, a simple card, a smile, listening in a grocery line, a hand shake, a “hi how are you doing?”, it could mean visiting someone… And although this does take up a little bit of your time, you gain a whole lot from it. We must slow down to do these things though.
Just because Christmas is over and 2016 will be here tomorrow doesn’t mean that we can’t give all year long. What will you give this year? Will you start packing boxes for child overseas who don’t get a Christmas? Maybe you’ll visit the nursing homes more. Whatever you do, take God with you. Because- “Greater is He that is inside of you, than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4” . Think of that next time your struggling to give. Your God is stronger than anything evil, negative, doubts, or fears.
Have a safe New Years Eve! See you next year!