What sort of giver are you? How much is too much? Do you tell yourself that because you’re such a generous person all year round that you don’t need to give elaborate presents come Christmas-time? Do you chide those who seem to go overboard with the gift-giving, and look down your nose at their consumerism?
Generosity is imitative. In fact, every gift and dollar you’ve ever donated wasn’t even yours to give. God has given you “play money” so that you can imitate His generosity. But you didn’t create those atoms out of nothing. You didn’t cause yourself to exist to take that breath to work that job to make that money which you donated to a charity. All of your giving is dependent on God’s giving.
Which is why, when it comes to Christmas, we shouldn’t be tempted to hold back. God demonstrates for us how we ought to give. He gives Himself. It is no cliché to say that He gave the greatest of gifts. In giving us His Son, He gave us Himself, and by giving Himself: “of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace (Jhn. 1:16).”
So break the bank this Christmas. Give lavishly. And it goes without saying, do so wisely. It isn’t generous to your family to rack up a bunch of debt, which, in effect, enslaves them for the rest of the year (or longer). But, give the most you can.
If you’ve been stingy all year long, now’s a good time to repent and sin no more. If you’ve been withdrawn and distant from your family this year, give them your time, attention, and thoughtfulness in the form of tangible gifts. And get busy being present with your family all the year round. If you’ve been generous all year, why stop short?
God has given unto us, and we ought to imitate Him in our giving. Which means giving the sort of gifts which cannot be repaid. Leave the receiver aghast in shocked joy. Give with such gusto that the grace shown to us at the first Christmas is echoed in our gift giving. We didn’t deserve the salvation which God sent to us in His Son; but He gave it out of sheer grace and goodness. So go and do likewise.
Give Christ. Give Him by imitating Him. Give Him by praising Him. Give Him by reading His Word together. Give Him by giving thanks for all the gifts He showers upon us daily and through each other’s imitative generosity. Give Christ. All of Christ.