I realize that my Christmas posts are a bit late, but Lord willing, you will be able to apply many of God’s truth not only during this season, but throughout the new year. Our life has been turned upside down by many factors. I wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas! May you know the reality of Christ this Christmas.
What is it about the holidays that reveals the true nature of people? While some people skip down the sidewalks bundled in their coat and scarves singing and giving to everyone they meet, others just let the evil come out like a Scrooge spewing acid rain on everyone’s snowy parade. We can expect that from the Average Joe, but from believers? How do we prevent sinfulness from tainting one of our most precious of holidays?
Developing our character to be more Christ-like will help us prevent disasters in our homes, among our extended family members, and any other person we come in contact with during the Christmas season. The basis of this Christmas Character Series can be applied year-round.
The first character trait we’re going to look at is Generosity.*
Generosity is “Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for his purposes.”
It’s antonym is Stinginess.
One of the first thoughts of Christmas that pops into your head may be, “Christmas = Gifts!” Generosity does go hand in hand with gift giving but there is more to it.
It’s amazing how gift-giving can bring you into a creativity mode where you search out the heart of the recipient and lavish them with their heart’s desire… or it can make you switch into dread mode because of the gift comparison trap. You can relish the thought of the excitement on someone’s face when they lift the lid of a box or you can despise the indifference of the recipient’s reaction, leaving you sorry that you gave. Some may love giving so much that they spend more than they should, while the stingy hate to use their money and give sparingly.
Generosity and gift-giving should be demonstrated through a cheerful heart, not grudgingly. God loves a cheerful giver!
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Stinginess carries with it the feeling that you’re holding something of value back, or you are begrudging having to give in the first place. It would be better not to give a gift than for someone to receive a gift with the knowledge that you did not actually want to give it.
The Christmas story holds the miraculous love of a Heavenly Father that loved with a heart full of cheerfulness and generosity. He knew our need so He gave His only begotten Son freely.
The angels proclaimed on the night of His birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” God had a good will toward men to provide in the most innocent form, a tiny, truly perfect baby. If God had once decided to take His gift of Christ back to heaven, we would be doomed for eternity to pay for our sins in hell. God held nothing back when He gave Christ to the world that did not deserve Him. His love held no disdain for the hard and wicked hearts of man, I believe He smiled as Jesus was ushered forth from His mother’s womb. Her delivery delivered our Deliverance.
God did not choose to whom He would grant His generosity toward. He freely gave it to everyone. “ that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:15. Whosoever means any and every person. If God was not generous, then He would not have provided eternal life to any person that believed on Jesus Christ.
Expressing Genuine Generosity
Expressing generosity is more than giving a gift. It’s giving with a cheerfulness of heart. It’s giving with love toward anyone God wants you to demonstrate love toward. Generosity does not have to be a high-priced gift…
Generosity reflects an abundance of a spiritual nature. It flows out from a heart that is filled with God and His Word.
Stinginess flows from a heart that is empty of God and His Word. ME stands behind the scenes as a stingy person gives a gift wishing they did not have to give or could keep for themselves. It concerns itself with the item rather than the person to whom it is given.
Generosity is More than Things
Tangible gifts are not always evidence of generosity.
We make the mistake of assuming that all gifts should be of a physical nature. Generosity also gives the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It gives sometimes out of poverty instead of abundance. Generosity may be self-sacrificing in order for someone to have a spiritual or physical need met. Generosity freely gives the same gift that God gave on the very first Christmas, Christ. It gives God’s Word to teach others about salvation. It invests in seeing people come to Christ as well as encouraging fellow believers.
For the stingy of heart:
- Is there anything this Christmas season that you’re holding back from giving?
- Has God been wanting you to give more than you’re willing to give?
- Is He prompting your heart to make a sacrifice in order to generously show love to someone?
For those that want to be generous:
- Would you make a commitment to demonstrate generosity in more than a tangible way, but by showing the fruits of the Spirit?
- Will you give as cheerfully as God did that first Christmas?
- Who will you share Christ with?
- How will you reflect God’s generosity to those you meet in the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties, and family functions?
God loves a cheerful giver, so give and give abundantly just like God did on that first Christmas!
The Christmas Character Series will continue with the character traits of Contentment and then Gratefulness. Please join us by signing up on the bottom of the website to receive these posts straight to your inbox!
*All of the Character definitions come from the Character Qualities Sheet that can be found on SolveFamilyProblems.org.