Giving at Christmas

by | Nov 22, 2011 | Charisma Archive, Uncategorized

Christmas is a time for memories. For me, putting together this issue brought back memories as we picked the very best Christmas articles over the last 36 years. While preparing, I reread all of my Christmas-related columns.

Some had to do with Christmas customs; others were about the culture wars to take Christ out of Christmas. Some years, I showed pictures of my staff or my young family and shared my own Christmas memories.

When we chose to include the best Christmas articles we’ve run in the last 36 years, I thought I’d pick my best column. But we soon decided I needed to introduce this issue, share my own memories and do what I’ve done at many times in the past: encourage you to give this year at Christmas.

Every couple of years, starting in 1984, I’d urge readers—much as I am now—to do what my wife, Joy, and I have done for years: give a tithe of what we spend at Christmas to the poor.

This was etched in my mind as a child when one Christmas my parents asked my brother, sister and I to pick a gift from the many we’d received and give it to a family in our church that didn’t have much. I don’t remember the details, but I think the father was out of work. In fact, I can’t recall what I gave—but I do remember going to their house to give them our gifts and how happy they seemed.

Christmas is about giving. It’s when God gave His Son. And didn’t the tradition of gift giving originate with the Magi, who brought gifts to the Christ child?

Yet Christmas has become an orgy of consumer spending. Many retailers make most of their annual profit at Christmastime. Even as believers, we tend to get caught up in the world’s values of buying gifts. Usually our purchases are for loved ones who already probably have much more than they need.

The antidote, I believe, is to be proactive, to consciously give to the poor and to encourage others to do the same. When I first urged Charisma readers in 1984, and in many December issues since then, to give to worthwhile ministries at Christmas, it was because I believe that  in giving to “the least of these My brethren,” as Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, you’re giving to Christ Himself.

A practical suggestion on how to do this is to give a tithe of what you spend on others. For instance, if you spend $1,000 at Christmas on gifts, determine you’ll give $100. My family does this. Over the years we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, much of it through Christian Life Missions, our nonprofit partner. If every reader of Charismagave only $5, it would total more than $1 million this year.

Yet giving isn’t just about money. That’s why we picked Steve Sjogren’s article from our December 1994 issue to show another side of giving. His article on page 46 tells how his church donated time to wrapping presents for shoppers at local malls and showing other free acts of kindness at Christmas. Maybe you’ll get some creative ideas while reading it.

When we planned this issue I wanted to motivate people to give generously, not out of tradition or compulsion, but because giving is a principle of God’s Word. So we invited Dallas pastor Robert Morris, who exemplifies this principle as well as anyone I know, to shed light on how God gives back to us—“pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6:38). Make sure you read Robert’s teaching on page 50. 

To highlight a few ministries you can bless this Christmas, and to make it easy to give, we’ve included the following section that shows the ministries supported through Christian Life Missions, the nonprofit partner we’ve worked with for more than 25 years. Every penny you donate will go to the ministry you choose. If you give through Christian Life Missions, your gift will be sent to the ministry and you’ll get a receipt for tax purposes.

There are many other ministries or needs you can give to. It doesn’t matter so much whom you give to, but that you give and do it as unto the Lord. We believe it will make all the difference in the way you celebrate Christ’s birth this year.


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter @sstrang, friend him on Facebook or sign up to receive The Strang Report at strangreport.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises...
Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest