As we look forward to the holiday season that traditionally begins with Thanksgiving, it is easy to get caught up in the glitz and consumerism of Christmas that leaves us always wanting more. Over the next seven days we’ll bring you some ideas from other Partners and Staff members to (hopefully) provide you with some different ways to approach the holiday season that will fill it with peace, joy and hope.
Sharing

Sharing > Sales

Tina Butterfield (Hospitality / Cafe Team Leader)

Sharing is one way we can express our care for others. God shared with us by sending His son to die on the cross. He shared the promise of eternal life. He shared a piece of His life with us because He cares for us deeply. We have daily opportunities to share a piece of us with others because we care deeply for them too. Our gift will never surpass God sending Jesus to earth to give us life, but our gift, when viewed from the perspective that it holds the value of reflecting God’s caring for us, can have life-changing impact. Perhaps evenleading someone a little closer to Jesus.

As the holiday season approaches, many of us will have the opportunity to exchange gifts with family and friends. The first inclination for many of us will be to hit the pavement and head into stores, searching for the perfect item to purchase for them. But God calls us to do more than put trinkets into boxes with bows. He calls us to do good, be generous, and ready to share.

The sharing Paul is referring to in 1 Timothy 6 is sharing of the Gospel, through conversations and activity. However, this sharing always happens in the context of life. This sharing happens in the context of being generous with what we have in our homes.

We have possessions and food; spaces and resources; time and energy. Before we step into stores to look for trinkets to fill our boxes with bows, we should look around to see what we already have at our disposal to share with others. Extra towels may mean inviting a loved one over for an extended stay. Extra food may mean extra seats at tables can be filled. Extra rooms and chairs in our home may be waiting for friends to enjoy a ball game or movie night together. Extra money (that wasn’t spent on trinkets) may be waiting for a weekend getaway with someone who needs rest. Extra time and energy may mean walking into the gas station instead of paying at the pump and talking to the person serving you. When we share something we already have, we are sharing something we value a lot: whether that be a possession, time, or our relationship with Jesus. Sharing something we value is at the heart of how we care well for a person.

Gift-giving should always be an expression of this care.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
– 1Timothy 6:17-19

The value attached to these gifts, although often small in terms of dollars and cents, will carry us further than many purchases used to fill boxes with bows. Being generous with our possessions, resources, and time are reminders of how God was caring and generous with us when He shared His son. When we are generous with our neighbors, family, and coworkers, we have opportunities to learn more about and care more for each other.  When we learn about each others’ physical, spiritual and emotional needs, we are poised to give generously when one of these needs is unmet.

By focusing on sharing gifts that are an outpouring of the resources and time we already have in our possession, we can look beyond caring for our neighbors and family only during this holiday season. We can take a wider view and find ways to provide great care for our community. Caring for our community, is often best done through providing resources to people who already know the unmet needs of community members. One way we can share our resources this year is to participate in Give Hope. Give Hope will enable school staff in our community, who already generously share their time and energy (but often have limited resources available) to meet the unmet needs they see everyday in the lives of the children and families in their care for weeks and months to come.

As this holiday season swings into full gear, let’s consider sharing differently. Let’s be generous with what we have in our homes with our neighbors and families, so that we have more resources to share with our community. Let’s look beyond just this holiday season. Let’s find opportunities where we can more deeply do good, be more generous, and ultimately be ready to share with our community.

Share Give Hope

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Post Series: Give Hope 2015

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Julie Desrochers

    Thank you for sharing this. We all need this reminder and your words spoke to my heart. This year part of my family decided we have no needs and it was suggested by my daughter we adopt a family in need instead of drawing names within our family and exchanging gifts. Sadly, it caused some friction within our family and your blog brings everything into perspective. I am sharing your blog with my family….thank you so much!

    Julie

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