As You Give This Christmas, Check Your Attitude!

This is the giving time of year!  Some gifts we give cheerfully. Other gifts are given grudgingly – “well, I have to give this gift because they are going to give me a gift, but I really wish I didn’t have to spend the money.”  “Yes, we’ve got to get a gift – after all, she’s family.”  Does that sound familiar? Giving at Christmas time can be a season of joy, or it can be a season of curmudgeon! Bah, humbug!  (I’ve been accused of being a scrooge many a Christmas!

Our attitude toward giving really shines through when it comes to money. We just endured over a week of people with their hand in our pocket. Think about the irony of these past few weeks.  First you have Black Friday where you are enticed to spend all your money on marked-up goods that have been “marked-down.” Then comes Cyber Monday where with just the click of a mouse you can spend more money. Ironically, the next day on the calendar is Giving Tuesday which extends into the next week with every non-profit organization under the sun soliciting donations from you. Don’t you think it is sort of self-defeating to put Giving Tuesday right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Who has money left over to give?

So, yes, this is the giving time of year. But it is also a good time to evaluate our attitude in giving, especially in giving to the Lord God. Do we give cheerfully; or do we give grudgingly? I would challenge each of us – myself included – to adopt the attitude of King David when it comes to giving.

As the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles comes to an end, David’s plan to build a temple to God has been postponed by God. David’s son, Solomon, was chosen by God to build that temple. David responded by doing the second-best thing. He would gather the materials needed and raise the financing for the building. In chapter 29 we read of the contributions made by the people of Israel including a mammoth portion of that given from David’s personal treasury. Once all the giving was completed, David led the gathered leaders of Israel in a prayer of dedication.  And oh, how I like his attitude as expressed in this prayer. This prayer is so filled with truths that we need to internalize into our own life.  Listen to the wisdom and the humility that David expressed in this prayer of dedication for the temple offering.

1 Chronicles 29:10–19 (NLT) – Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.

13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

16 “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! 17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.

18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. 19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”

Wow! What a prayer! Did you catch these incredible truths:

  • Everything in this universe belongs to God!
  • God is totally in control of everything!
  • Everything we have comes from God! 
  • We are here for a short moment; make every moment, and every gift we give count!
  • When we give to God, we are simply giving back what He has given to us!
  • We are to give out of love and out of obedience to God, the greatest Giver of al! And finally, motives in giving are tremendously important!

Let these truths take root in your heart this Christmas and throughout the coming year!

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