What comes to mind when you think of Christmas? Perhaps you think of Christ coming to earth as a baby. Or maybe you think of generosity. As for me, I think of both. After all, Christmas and generosity go hand-in-hand.
But why is that? What is it about Christmas that spurs people towards generosity?
While I can’t answer for every single human being, I believe the Bible gives us some insight into this.
That’s because we learned about generosity from the ultimate giver: God. And who could out give God? No one.
But God, in his infinite knowledge and wisdom, became an example of an abundant giver.
Let’s take a dive into Scripture to see how Christmas and generosity go together.
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5 Reasons Christmas and Generosity Go Hand-in-Hand
People give during Christmas for a variety of reasons. For example, some give to make themselves feel happy. Others do it for a tax deduction. And others will do it for a sense of satisfaction.
While all these things aren’t necessarily bad, I would argue that there are more important reasons to give.
For those of us in Christ, we give for entirely different reasons. And I believe that Christ’s coming has a profound impact on our giving decisions.
Let’s take a look at why Christmas and generosity affect one another.
1. Jesus Came as the Ultimate Gift for Mankind
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”Like 2:11 ESV
One word I really want to hit on is Savior. What does it mean that Jesus is our Savior?
To answer this, we have to consider the state of mankind.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23 ESV
All people have sinned. All people fall short of God’s perfect standard. Therefore, we need a Savior. Because without one, as the old saying goes, we’re up the creek.
But Jesus came as God in the flesh. As such, only Jesus could serve as the perfect sacrifice for sin.
The plan all along was for Jesus to sacrifice himself on the cross. In other words, Jesus came even though he knew he would die.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”John 1:29 ESV
Oh, what hope we have in Jesus! And what could compel us to give more than knowing God already gave us the ultimate gift of eternal life? What are the possessions of the world when we have Christ?
Christians, we have everything we need in Christ! Therefore, I encourage you to go out there and give like no one else!
2. God is a Giver, and God Made Us in His Image
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
God gave his only Son for us, so that we may have eternal life. Do you know what that means? God is a giver.
And you know what else? God made people in his image.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness.”Genesis 1:26a
You see, when God made us, he put some of himself in us. When we place our faith and hope in Christ, we begin to more fully reflect the image of God.
That also means we begin to see others as fellow image-bearers of God. And when we see them in need, it should spur us towards generosity.
After all, God did not turn his back on us in our time of need. Instead, he sent us the ultimate gift. And that gift ensures us that we have the opportunity to be with our Creator forever.
3. The Birth of Christ Takes the Focus Off Ourselves
Go back and read the first couple of chapters of any of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). You’ll find story after story of people rejoicing!
And they’re not just rejoicing for themselves. Instead, they rejoice for all mankind! Finally, the long-awaited Savior appeared.
Furthermore, we know that Jesus came to serve and give his life for those in need.
Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.Matthew 20:28
As we become more like Christ, we also seek to serve. We no longer seek to receive service, but we lay down our own lives to serve others. Ultimately, Jesus would go on to serve as the ultimate example of sacrificial giving when he laid down his life on the cross.
Therefore, we have all that we need! Jesus came and died for us, and rose again to prove his power over death. This means we can give graciously and joyfully!
4. The Coming of Jesus Reminds Us of the World’s Need
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is O Holy Night. In the first verse of the song, the state of the world is made abundantly clear:
Long lay the world in sin and error piningO Holy Night, John Sullivan Dwight’s version
Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth
Jesus came because the world needs a Savior. All people have a broken relationship with God, and Jesus came to repair that relationship.
Because Jesus came, we now have a way to reconcile with God, which is the ultimate need of the world.
However, that doesn’t mean the church has nothing left to do. There are still needs all around the world, both spiritual and physical.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10
Every year, we celebrate the birth of Christ. And when we do so, he reminds us that people have needs. First, they need a Savior. Second, they need their fellow image-bearers to show them love and compassion.
Steps You Can Take Towards Generosity
I’m all about generosity at Christmas time. But what if you find yourself in a bad financial situation? Perhaps you feel weighed down by debt, or maybe you don’t make very much money.
Well, I have good news! You don’t have to throw a lot of money at someone in order to be generous.
A budget will help you regain control of your financial situation. Rather than becoming restricting, a budget should allow you more control over your money.
Second, I recommend you start your generosity journey by tithing. And yes, I believe you can tithe even when you’re in debt.
Tithing is the baseline for generosity. It’s where you start rather than where you end.
Finally, if you can’t afford to give extravagant gifts or donate to charity, consider some alternatives to giving money.
Instead, consider giving experiences to your loved ones like picnics, hiking trips, or cook them a nice dinner. You can also consider volunteering at your local rescue mission or food distribution center.
All that to say I don’t think you should give money you don’t have. That’s known as debt, and the Bible never speaks positively about it.
Find Ways to Reflect Christ’s Generosity This Christmas
Again, you don’t have to throw tons of money at someone to be generous. Instead, just find a way to show someone, even a stranger, that there is a God who loves them.
Ultimately, that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s about a God who loved us so much that he sent his only Son for us. And he sent his Son so that we could have a relationship with him.
If all you can do is share that story with someone, then you’ve given them something wonderful.
But if you can do more to show the love of Christ, then I encourage you to give like no one else!
Let’s show the world the love of Christ with how we give our time, talent, and treasure!
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