Tuesday, December 17, 2013

5 tips on Giving for the season

It’s Christmas, a season to be jolly. It is also a season to give and receive love. Why do you have to give? You should give because God first gave by giving us greatest gift of all, His son Jesus. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Furthermore, the very foundations of the earth are built on giving for example. Plants give out oxygen and take in carbon monoxide, while human beings breathe in oxygen and give out carbon monoxide.
This is the same with bees and flowers. Plants produce nectar as a way of attracting bees to stop at a flower. Bees on the other hand gather nectar from the flowers to turn into honey. In the process of gathering nectar a bee, picks up pollen grains and transfers the pollen grains from one flower to another. This is called pollination. The honey and pollen when mixed together provides food for baby bees (larva) while pollination allows plants to reproduce.
Here are some tips to help you with giving this season:
  1. Give thanks: The first thing to do is to give thanks to who thanks is due. God has been faithful and you have so much to be thankful for. Even if you feel otherwise, the fact that you are alive and able to read this article is reason enough to give thanks. Remember where there is life, there is hope.  According to 1 Thessalonians 5v18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. This season take stock of all God has done for you and count your blessings.
  2. Give a gift of a lifetime: This season give a meaningful gift that would make a lasting impact in the receivers’ life. For instance you can give a book as a present or invest in a mutual fund on behalf of someone. Furthermore, if you are aware someone struggles with fear or bad eating habits, buy a book that would help the person overcome their fear or eating habits. There is a story in a book about a wealthy woman whose home was burglarized. The thieves stole the typical valuable items like jewelry etc. However, they failed to take her most valuable items which were her books. The thieves failed to realize that the books were what educated her on how to get wealthy.
  3. Creativity always pays: A good way to avoid over spending is to give creative gifts. According to Mother Theresa “It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”.  A creative gift idea is to give out cards with personal or family pictures printed on the card.  You can also create a calendar with family pictures. It is the thought that counts and not the amount spent on the gift. 
  4. Reach out: This season do not give gifts to only family members, friends or loved ones for it is more rewarding to give a gift to someone that cannot repay you. Different ways to reach out include going to a hospital ward on Christmas morning to sing Christmas carols. Contributing towards paying rent for a widow. Visit a prison to give gifts to the inmates or buy hearing aids for the elderly or impaired.  Visit and pay grocery or utility bills for an old relative. Put a smile on someone’s face this season by reaching out.
  5. Give the best gift of all : According to Kahlil Gibran “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”.  This season give the best gift of all which is you. This is especially effective with kids. We may feel obliged to buy expensive gifts but what kids treasure most is the time you spend with them.  Spend quality time with your loved ones. Bake cupcakes with your kids, sing Christmas carols. Watch a movie in bed with your spouse. Cook a nice meal and have candle light dinner at home. What really matters most is the quality time you spend with your family.

In conclusion, remember to give cheerfully as instructed in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. Also give discreetly as instructed in Matthew 6v3-4 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret and your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you”. On a final note as you give you may just be like the plant who receives a blessing as it makes provision for the bee as stated in Luke 6v38 “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured in your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”.