(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Posture of Giving
By Britney Perez
It’s that time of year! That special time when you start to see stores stocking the shelves with all things Christmas. When people start to debate just how early is too early to start listening to Christmas music, when social media explodes with Starbucks ’ seasonal Christmas cup reveal, and you begin to see places hit you with their extra early Black Friday deals. From ugly sweater Christmas parties to tree lighting ceremonies, it’s a special time to enjoy all the seasonal festivities. With all these plus more, let’s not forget that Christmas is also a season of giving back.
Anyone can give, and, truth be told, around this time of the year a LOT of people give generously. It’s not uncommon to see the Salvation Army outside of a store with their red bucket and bells jingling, seeking donations, or grocery store clerks asking if you want to donate a dollar and have your name put on a little notecard to be displayed amongst all the other givers. There are tons of toy drives and churches donating food, etc. There are so many ways one can give during Christmas.
While the statistics show just how much people give this time of year, what does giving look like for a follower of Christ? As I mentioned, many people give, but sometimes I wonder what the heart posture is. How many give because Christmas is just known as a season of giving?
In 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV, it says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Ever find yourself fighting the urge to give reluctantly or under compulsion? Maybe you are all better Christians than me (ha-ha jk), but I have found myself in that heart posture and it isn’t a great feeling at all. I think when we find ourselves in that place of thought, it’s because if we were to look inside, we would find that maybe we fear not having enough and so we feel this need to sow sparingly. In verse 6 of that same chapter in 2 Corinthians, we read, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” As followers of Christ, we are to be mindful of those who go without and not only during the Christmas season. As believers and followers of Jesus, we should desire to sow generously, trusting that God will not only provide for the needs of those we are giving to but also knowing that He will provide for all our needs for “…God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (vs. 8). We are called to give as believers and to trust that, as we give, He is more than able to meet our needs and bless our giving beyond measure (Ephesians 3:20-21).