Greedy Giving: Gifts At Christmas

The name fits, and it was happening again, although I didn’t hear of any deaths.

Black Friday. The day following Thanksgiving in the United States. Originating in Philadelphia, the name was given because of heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic from shoppers patronizing retail stores offering tempting items at reduced prices. Use widened to describe retailer’s transition into “the black” from “the red” because of purchases shoppers made.

Perhaps we should widen the meaning to include actions displayed by consumers who stampede stores in the morning’s wee hours to take advantage of enticing sale items. Actions like trampling and killing fellow shoppers, mugging vulnerable women in retail parking lots, using pepper spray to disperse crowds gathered around an item you want and hitting people over the head with boot boxes.

Christmas season brings out our giving spirits; this is honorable. The actions displayed prior to the giving can be dishonorable and selfish-even criminal.

Prophesying about the Christ child’s birth, Isaiah spoke of a unique act of unselfish giving: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

Greed and give appear to be mutually exclusive but can occur in the same time and place yet shouldn’t. Giving gifts to our family and friends is a wonderful way to show love. Cursing, pushing, shouting and committing violent acts to secure gifts to give poisons the intent.

God gave the greatest gift with no sale price attached. His gift was unselfish and purely from love. He allowed his Son to leave heaven’s glory for a sin damaged world. The price he paid in letting his Son take on human flesh and our sins, and the price Jesus paid by dying for them, was supreme.

Our giving should parrot Jesus’. Gifts are never as important as the motives with which they’re given and the actions displayed getting them. One affects our eternal rewards and the other our testimony. What do you need to change so you can give like God?

Prayer: God our Father, enable us to give the way You have given to us.

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