Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Practical Thoughts on Christmas Presents

One of the most difficult things about preaching is deciding what to leave out week in and week out. Every passage of Scripture is PACKED with truth and life applications and one could never exhaust everything the Bible has to teach us! Having said that, I got to thinking after my message this past Sunday. I was talking about joy in God and not putting our trust in things and how this is a danger we have each Christmas. However, I realized that I might be giving the idea that owning things is always wrong and giving presents is a bad idea. So, here are some thoughts I had:

As I arrived home this afternoon I thought to myself, “Well, I hope nobody thought that I believe that ALL Christmas present buying at Christmas is wrong.” It’s not. What is important is not that we have or don’t have “stuff.” It’s not wrong to own houses or cars or cell phones. Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6 that God has given us ALL things to enjoy. Where we tread into dangerous territory is when we are trusting in things for ultimate satisfaction. The Bible calls this “the love of money” and this is a root of all kinds of evil. Money is a word that simply means “human resources.” We are not supposed to fall in love with money. There is nothing wrong with having it or spending it, but don’t trust it. Be willing to lose it if you lose it (get what I’m saying?)

Here are some practical thoughts for Christmas and presents:

1) use the buying of your children presents to teach the grace of God at Christmas. One of the dangers of Santa Claus is that he (he doesn’t really cause he’s not real) teaches a works or merit based system of living. Who gets the presents under Santa’s system? Nice children…who is left out? Naughty children. Use Christmas to teach ALL children that every gift is something that they haven’t earned, but are receiving just because you love them. Sound familiar? That’s the gospel. God giving us the gift of His Son when we didn’t deserve or earn it. That’s Christmas. Use Christmas presents to teach grace!

2) Don’t go overboard with presents. Most Christmas presents will be junked or forgotten about by next week anyway. If you spend lots of money, get something that will be fun for your kid for a long time to come!

3) Use Christmas as a chance to teach your kids missions. Maybe each kid can place a gift under the tree for a needy child or maybe your family can go work at the Good Samaritan during the Christmas season. Whatever it is, teach your kids to receive well and give well.

4) Talk about Jesus…a lot! But here is the catch: if you only talk about Jesus around Christmas, you may be doing more harm than good. Make Jesus a topic of discussion with your kids 365 days a year!

Well, I hope you find this helpful! May you show progress and joy in your faith this Christmas season!!!!!

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