You know why most of us like Christmas? I think part of the reason is because the season gives us a reason to splurge on ourselves! We give with the expectation of receiving in return.
Think about it: what do children do? Make a list of things THEY want and give it to Santa. You know what this does? It breeds disappointment with high expectations when the child does NOT get what is on the list.
So how can Christians like you and I be counter-cultural and biblical since the Bible teaches self-denial NOT self-esteem or self-fulfillment apart from Christ?
My wife and I didn’t do the list thing this year. Instead, we made a list of people we could give TO. We also listed things from our home we could sacrificially give away to needy families we know. Not our worse things, but some of our better and best things that we are still using!
We want our children to be givers not consumers. Self-less rather than selfish. Don’t you want your children to be like Jesus Who gave without an expectation of return? I do. Otherwise, I’m just bringing up children who are going to be consumed by consumerism and just like this world rather than like Jesus Christ.
Was Jesus a consumer or a giver? Can you imagine Jesus making a Christmas list of His wants to mail to Santa? Ridiculous thought yet we are to be LIKE HIM.
Make your children’s expectations low this year by teaching them to be like King Solomon when he prayed in I Kings 3 for wisdom – not for himself – but so that he could serve the Lord by serving His children better!!! This prayer was inspired by God, the great Giver of all good gifts according to James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.“ – The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Jas 1:17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Let’s give this Christmas with no expectation of receiving! Let’s be like our Father of lights and be a light that realizes it’s much better to give than to receive! Let’s glorify the Lord and not get caught up in a secular season that has made it all about SELF rather than about Jesus HIMSELF.
-Mark (wanting to shift our thinking from self to Christ, especially during Christmas!)
P.S. We say, “Jesus is the reason for the season” but we sing about Santa, reindeer, mistletoe, snow, and all the stuff we get in this life that is temporary. Let’s set our minds on things above (Col.3:1-3), especially now during Christmas!