Why is it, that if it’s not Christmas, our minds are not on giving. Another Francis Chan study has me pondering this question this morning. At Christmas time the extra dollars seem to flow from our fingers much easier when we see the need of someone, time seems readily available to volunteer to help the down and outers. The needs of a child are first and foremost in our mind to insure that they have the best Christmas ever… and then it’s over. We go back to our mundane lives and there are no more bells ringing at the entrance of store. No more reminders that we need to think of the needs of others.
And then Francis Chan comes along and throws me outside my comfort zone. Actually I had been there for several weeks, because that’s how God works. Then He adds a series like “Crazy Love” into your life as if to say, why are you not listening? Life is about serving others, that’s how I did it and that’s how I’d like you to do it.
1 John 3:16-18
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Nowhere in that verse were the words “at Christmas time.” It is during that season that our excessiveness goes out of control, does it not, or am I alone? We buy in extreme for those we love, we expect in extreme from those we love and we soothe our guilty souls by dropping a few Benjamin’s or perhaps it’s a Jackson or Lincoln. It matters not, it’s often times for the purpose of paying off Jiminy Cricket. (our conscience in case you were not familiar with Pinocchio.) But God is not Jiminy Cricket, He’s the Holy Spirit and so much wiser… and bigger. And He’s around 365 days of the year, not just holidays or movie nights; and He has a much greater purpose than just telling us we’re doing wrong.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
I feel that I should buy the James 4:17 tee shirt, because I’ve earned it. And not in the good sense. God has been so very good to me. I would be ashamed to tell you how good, in that everything I’ve ever truly wanted I have, and almost every time it came in the form of a gift. The passel of instruments sitting in the chair and on the floor across from me attests to God’s goodness to me. People have invested in my love of music and my love of God. I continually am the recipient of words of encouragement that are priceless and yet cost only a second or two of someone’s day.
- To him/her that knoweth to speak words encouragement and say nothing to him/her it is sin.
- To him/her that knoweth to tip the box boy and doeth it not, to him/her it is sin.
- To him/her that knoweth that child needs new shoes and buys them not, it is sin.
- To him/her that knoweth that elderly person needed groceries and bought them not, it is sin.
- To him/her that threw away food rather than sharing it with a neighbor, it is sin.
That list could go on a few miles or more, but I won’t. Mainly because my heart can’t bear the reality. Those “to him/her” comments are things I know I’m guilty of, they are not necessarily things you are guilty of. God speaks different purpose to different souls… are we listening?