When I was growing up in Africa, my father told me that life isn't always about pleasing myself and that sometimes I have to do things for the sole benefit of other people. I completely agreed with him, but in this day and age it’s in no way uncommon, however, to hear people assure that they don't want anything but do something good without expecting anything back.
Yet that is far from true because, as a matter of fact, we are all created to pursue pleasures and the expressions of appreciation for our good acts is one - either we believe it or not. What's more, the process takes place in the unexplained lands of the ignorant so you are forgiven if you think you are selfless.
When we give freely, we feel full and complete, when we hold back, we feel small, insignificant, incapable, and lacking. We are meant to learn this great truth, that giving fulfils us, while withholding and trying to get from other people causes us to feel empty and even deprived. This truth runs counter to our convincing, which drives us to try to get something from other people to fulfil our want, only to end up even more needy, greedy, lacking, and unfulfilled.
Seeing or hearing about suffering children makes me upset and feeling uncomfortable, distress and this drives me to dig into my pockets and give. Recently, our acts of giving is turning out, may be slightly more selfish according to my observation.
Whenever, I read other people’s blog, I see all kinds of post about celebrity giving stuff to charities. Even my fellow Nigerian celebrities are copying the American and the British celebrity’s act of giving. The news is all over the newspaper and on TV. Now, should we publish our giving? Should the whole wide world know we are giving something to the less privilege? Shouldn’t we check our motive for giving to the less privilege, charity and people in general?
I suppose we are more likely to give when we think it will make us feel better. I have since found that when we put a figure on the size of a particular need unexpectedly lowers giving, while presenting a single story without open numbers is more likely to prompt a desire to help. For example, in the recent devastation of typhoon that hits Philippine, the Newspaper first published that 150 people were confirmed dead and the next day News was 1000’s feared dead. It was after this News that people started ……………..
We have just 37 days to Christmas and I am sure people are already panicking about what to buy or give to their love ones. Would you check your motive before you buy that gift for your friends, boss, mother, neighbour and your church pastor? Would you buy any gift for those people in your life who are the hardest people for you to like? God loves and give selflessly to both good and bad people. Well, pardoned me if I am too candid.
Christmas gift is not the only thing that is fun to give on or before Christmas day. We can also give our time to those who we think they do not deserve it, we can give our friendship or simply give a smile. What does that cost? On Christmas day while you and your family are smiling and eating turkey would you remember that little girl around the corner crying for food? Would you quietly go to that charity home and give whatever you can afford without informing your family?
What would it hurt for you and I to give that homeless man and that guy singing in the market place a £, $ or 100Naira? Who cares if he spends it on drinks? Maybe drink is a step up for him from the situation that knocked him onto the streets or market place in the first place. Maybe, just maybe, he’s actually going to spend it on sweater, house rent, water, food (homeless and poor people do eat, right?). Maybe, he really is at the end of the rope and he is trying to change his situation.
Even when people abuse your giving, give anyway. Once again, let us checks our motive and remembers that the second best thing after a gift itself is the way we give the gift.
How should we give during Christmas period? Well, let me give you the answer in this true story...
It was a cold day on the 24th December 2010, still working as a checkout operator in one of the big supermarket in the UK. I was feeling especially warm in my heart for no other reason that this date will be my last day working as customer assistance and it was a day to Christmas. I stood at my post scanning customer goods and my face was brimming with joy. Customers were anxious to get bargains stuff and the queue was really long but still smiling on my checkout. Though one customers was not too far busy going about his shopping to notice me, one elderly gentleman in a wheelchair from another sales counter brought his eyes up to meet mine as he was going home after shopping. He slowdown in passing and move his wheel towards my checkout, just long enough to speak to me.
"Now that's a Christmas smile if I ever saw one," he said.
My lips stretched to their limit in response, and I thanked him for the compliment. Then he left the supermarket. But, as I thought about the man today and how sweetly he'd touched me, I realized something simply wonderful! In that brief interaction we'd exchanged heartfelt gifts! And that is how to give during Christmas.
When we GIVE under “Pressure” or “Reluctantly” we are giving under the LAW of giving and NOT the GRACE given for giving. God loves a cheerful giver, which is giving under GRACE. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Thank you for reading my post, kindly remember the Philippines's today and do your best to help.
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