Have you ever wondered why it is that at this time of year – as opposed to the entire year – more people seem to be in the “spirit of giving”? Whether it is tossing some coins in those red kettles, allowing someone to go in front of you in those long checkout lines, cleaning off a neighbor’s snow covered driveway without being asked, helping clean the snow off of someone’s car, or helping someone to get unstuck from a snow covered parking lot – people just seem to be more apt to be in a “spirit of giving”.
We should note that “giving” is not restricted to monetary means or gifts – but it encompasses all aspects of our lives, including our finances, time, talents, and yes, just lending a helping hand. We should also be reminded that a [pure] “spirit of giving” will only be enveloped in our lives when we are free of any expectation of receiving something in return – and without necessarily needing to be asked. In Acts 20:35 the apostle Paul reminds us of the Lord’s Words that, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Throughout the Scriptures you will find many references to “giving” – but there was always a qualifier – we must have a willing heart and we must not seek self-recognition. Jesus Himself stated the following with regards to performing “alms” [righteousness, kindness, charity] in Matthew 6:1-4,
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
But could it be that we more are apt to demonstrate the “spirit of giving” at this time of year because we are reminded that God [gave] unto us His only begotten Son Jesus Christ: 1) who came to this earth – born of a virgin; 2) who grew up and ministered to all, especially those who would receive Him; 3) who started His Church; 4) who died in our place on the old rugged cross – taking upon Himself the sins of the world; 5) who arose from the grave on the third day; 6) who sits at the Father’s right hand making intercession for all who believe; 7) who offers eternal life unto all who will repent of their sins – trusting that Jesus Christ will forgive them of their sins – receiving the gift of salvation. Note the following Scriptures.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
2 Peter 3:9,
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Our prayer should be that our attitude and our heart would remain in a “spirit of giving” throughout the entire year. For, therein you will find the heart of Christ being truly manifested through our lives on a day-by-day basis. And don’t forget the words of Jesus, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] When followed, this will truly demonstrate the “spirit of giving”.