What To Give This Christmas

Can you think of the last thing you did, that wasn’t done for your benefit?  Something that you have done, not for your sake, not for your advantage, not to gain the favor of other people, not for gaining wealth or power or prestige?  But something you have truly done, simply because it was the right thing to do?  Or because someone else needed you to do it?  My hope is that it won’t take long for you to think of an answer.

Sadly, too many of us, if we are honest, have to think long and hard to remember the last time that we did something, without any thought to personal gain or personal advantage.  If that is you, don’t beat yourself up.  Simply claim it, confess it and allow God to meet you in it.

All of us do things every single day for our benefit.  There is nothing wrong with doing something because of some perceived reward for doing it.  You do things so that someone will like you.  You do things because you want to gain some kind of advantage.  You do things because you want to send a message to others about who you really are.  This reality isn’t bad or evil.  It’s simply the truth.  The quicker you get real with it, the quicker God will be able to meet you in it and walk with you through it.

This reality is one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to sharing your faith.  Evangelism, there I said it.  It’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many a follower of Jesus.  One of the reasons this is the case is that most of us rarely do anything for anyone, without some understanding of a perceived reward for ourselves.  “What’s in it for me?” is a universal question for humanity.

Evangelism or the transforming of someone’s heart by the truth, love and power of Jesus, is a long term, marathon style, crock-pot endeavor.  It’s one step up, two steps back, three steps up and on and on.  Thus, understanding our sin-stained human nature of “What’s in it for me?”, many of us lose heart, lose momentum and we quit.  For we don’t see anything in it for ourselves.

This Christmas you are invited to see things from a different perspective.  God came and lived as one of us.  God came in the form of an infant, born to an unwed teenager, in a stable, in a strange town.  God didn’t need to come as Jesus in order to save us.  We needed God to come as Jesus in order to be saved.  God didn’t do this for his benefit.  God did this for our benefit.  Following this example would be the greatest Christmas gift that you could ever give to the people in your life.