In a few days, after the dust settles, will we be living with debt and regret or will we be completely satisfied with our actions over the holidays? Is it better to give than to receive? What about the thousands of homes foreclosed on and the families that are now relocated? What about the thousands of men and women who are moments away from living on the street, through no fault of their own?
For most people, at this time every year, the season is bursting with anticipation, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and the apprehension of making everything perfect for the family on Christmas. People are preoccupied with spending what little money they have or don't have and unintentionally ignore the big picture. Has the reason for the season been completely or intentionally overlooked?
In the Bible, Luke 6:38 says this, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" . That is God’s promise to anyone who adheres to His Word! With an economy where the rich seem to get richer and the poor seem to get poorer, we have to truly consider giving back to those who will do without this holiday season.
Let go of the things which hold you back. Let me try to explain. In some parts of the world, in order to catch a monkey, you must use a heavy box with an opening just large enough for the monkey to squeeze his hand through. Inside the box are bananas. When the monkey grabs the bananas, he inadvertently makes a fist. The monkey tries desperately to pull his paw out, but, with his fist now clenched around the bananas, it's too large to pull out of the small opening. Either the monkey releases the bananas and escapes or he holds on to them and is captured. Most monkeys will hold on to the bananas and risk capture. Similarly, we hold on to the bananas that have captured us and will keep us from moving forward. In this economic nightmare, the only change, if any, begins with us. If you have something that you are holding on to or that you haven't used in a year, clearly you don't need it. Give it away to the Salvation Army or a local thrift store where those who truly need will have an opportunity to enjoy something nice, for a change.
Every human being has a God given system inside them to tell them, " This is right " or " This is wrong ", an ineffable compass that governs us all. Stand and be counted on to do the right thing. Decisions to give or take, to love or hate, and each one of those has a consequence attached. Some call it a conscience or the Holy Spirit, but in all of us, our lives are a totality of the choices we make.
Let's take this holiday season and the new year to make choices that will affect our world for the better. In a Saturday Night Live skit, featuring Chris Farley, on the Farley Show, Chris asked Paul McCartney whether it was true if the love you take is equal to the love you make? Is it? It's completely up to you to make that choice. Choose wisely. Choose life. Choose to be a blessing to those around you and you will reap enormous benefits. We all reap what we sow.
Christmas is the time of year
For deck the halls and yuletide cheer
The hustle-bustle at the mall
The weary clerks, “We’ve sold them all”
The parking lots that can’t be worse
Where even Pastors learn to curse
The endless line for Santa’s knee
While merchants gather gleefully
To count the money that we’ve spent
How slow it came, how fast it went
Then I think back to a long-ago night
When an Eastern star that shone so bright
Announced the most blessed event
And all the dollars that are spent
Could never buy what He freely gave
His life, His death, your soul to save
So, while I love the Christmas cheer
With Santa and his eight reindeer
With trees and lights and carols, too
With presents for me and presents for you
I must remember the gift from above
That needs no ribbon, for you can’t wrap love.
- Beth Campbell Walker
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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." - Luke 6:38
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. - Galatians 6:7