Powered by Blogger.

Gift #2 You Can Not Afford NOT to Give

>> 12.09.2012

Gift #2 --

...A clear sense of others -- it seems as though the entire (Western) Church has bought into our culture's idea of living a self-focused lifestyle.  In our own experience, the number one desire of parents we've asked is that their children grow up to live "happy" and "healthy" lives.  While there is nothing innately wrong about having a life that is happy or healthy, this certainly isn't the "gold standard" by which a "good life" is represented in Scripture.  Christ followers are continually told to "deny themselves" in order to serve others, and in doing so they serve Christ.  We see Jesus and his disciples serving in difficult situations, always giving though they've already gave and gave; Christ was crucified and most of His disciples died a martyr's death.  Giving our children a clear sense of others will take intentionality and will not be convenient.  Oh, we can do it while on other journeys, (being kind to the clerk at the store, etc.) but it also means we need to teach our children to "give up" things and "deny" their desires at times. ("Delayed gratification" is one term that comes to mind...)

We must teach our children to think of others because it does not come naturally to any of us.  This is like teaching them to wash their hands, or get dressed, or make their bed-- they must practice generosity until it becomes a habit.  Generosity that comes out of a heart of thankfulness is the most pure motive. ("We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19)  Generosity taught for the sake of looking or feeling good is not the goal nor the motive that pleases Jesus.  (Feeling good about the things you do is not wrong, however, it should be a by-product and not a driving force.) God looks at our motives.  He wants your children's hearts-- not just their outward behavior. 

Because we have been given MUCH, we know that life isn't about them-- it's about Christ and being His hands and feet while on earth.  Matt. 25:34-40 gives us a clear picture about the practical ways God wants us to help and serve others.  

When weserve others here on earth, it is as if we are serving our very King, Jesus Christ.

Here  are some ways we are practicing generosity in our home this year.  They are nothing snazzy or glitzy or even worth mentioning, but it is what we can do this Christmas time.  ( This is not to brag or be looked upon, but simply joted down for us to remember personally and to perhaps give you one idea you might use if you need a few ideas.)

* Handed out Christmas treats made by ladies of our church to elderly shut-ins or church attendees who have been ill.  The kids sang, read poems, and talked a bit with the people we visited.  (We did this with another homeschooling family and it was a blast!  The kids really liked this & we reiterated several times the reason we do this activity is to encourage those who aren't healthy enough to get out very much.) (I must also thank the ladies who had the Christmas cookie exchange who plan to ask people to bring more than they will go home with.  I would never have been able to bake all those goodies AND take them!=)

* Gave homemade gifts to teachers in their lives.  When they all have a hand in creating gifts simple as "gifts in a jar" it helps them to connect saying thanks to those in their lives and to learn to think about what makes someone else happy and encouraged.

* Being involved in purchasing an animal through the World Vision Christmas catalog.  We're still collecting money so the kids are excited to see how much they will be able to purchase in the end.  Will it be a chicken?  A goat?  A cow?!?...

* Sorted through toys/clothes and gave several large boxes to our local shelter for needy people.  After a few years of doing this with them, the kids are really starting to understand their outgrown and unused can be used by others who need them.

*  And, though this is not about "others" here on earth, we have started a Sparkle Box...which you can read about later this week! 

What things are YOU and YOUR FAMILY doing this year to show Christ's love to others and to teach your children that life for the Believer consists of a full heart of thankfulness overflowing with generosity?


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think. Leave me a Message!

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP