I was raised on Southern Gospel music. Hey, what can I say? Different strokes for different folks. Once I discovered the likes of Christian artists like Wayne Watson, Sweet Comfort Band, Petra, and Michael W. Smith, I knew that was more my style (not necessarily today though—long live Third Day). But back in those Southern Gospel days, I remember every song ending with a crescendoed chorus that ended strong loud and then fading. Every song did it. Southern Gospel singers love to finish big.
On this 3rd day of December 2008, we are in the height of the Christmas season which means one thing for sure—people are spending money. As Americans we are experts at finishing the year of spending money strong. It’s no secret that we spend and gigantic amount of coin on Christmas gifts. It’s estimated by some that we consistently spend $450,000,000,000 on Christmas in the U.S. You read it right—that’s 10 zeros!
Let’s face it, God does not commend consumers. Just the opposite is true. God tells us it’s more blessed to give than to get (Acts 20:35) and that He loves it when we give cheerfully or as some would say, hilariously (2 Corinthians 9:7).
So what if we took on a new challenge to finish the year strong in a different way? Our family has been praying and looking for ways to “flip the focus” of Christmas and give—no, I mean really give. So here’s what I suggest. What if you mark your gift funds for cash gifts of $10, $20, or $30 only? Send it to those that you would normally by a gift for and challenge them to match it then give it to someone who really “needs.” Someone with real needs like for food, water, shoes, coats. Someone who lives in some the most deplorable situations, both in the U.S. and around the world.
I know there are causes everywhere that scramble for our donations during the Christmas season. It’s the end of the year and many organizations ask you to donate. Instead of donating why not make a difference? Our family has found three organizations that we have a heart for and encourage you to make a difference through them or find your own. Finish the year strong!