North Santa Rosa

Christmas Day Living with Purpose 

    In December 1965 an animated TV special called: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was broadcasted for the first time on major network TV. For 50 years it’s been an annual show that attracts children and adults alike.    During the story Charlie Brown tries to direct a Christmas play involving his school-age peers. After becoming frustrated on the set and being ridiculed for the Christmas tree he picked, he throws his hands up in desperation and asks, “Is there anybody who really knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus, who happens to be standing alone on the stage, states, “Well sure Charlie Brown, I can!” Linus then recites the Gospel of Luke, second chapter, verses 8-14: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you; you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” This is the climactic scene of the entire show. Linus finishes his recitation by saying, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

    God gave us His only Son to be a standard for life and who ultimately became the sacrifice for our sins. Christmas is about giving; we can all give something of ourselves. The very act of letting go of money or something that is special to us has a way of changing us from the inside out. It suppresses the power of the demon called greed.

    God is much more interested in our motive for giving than the gift itself. If we harbor greed inside, the gifts we give simply don’t matter eternally. A powerful and positive way to guard against greed is to purposefully choose joy! Giving because you want too breeds joy. And joyful acts are what build the Kingdom. It’s called Kingdom giving because eternal rewards are attached for the giver.

    One of the great verses on giving is found in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully”. One way to check the quality of your giving is to ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” If the answer is “nothing”, then it’s safe to go ahead and give the gift.

    There are people who are afflicted with the disease of greediness. They are completely unaware of what they’re living with. A person’s true energy flow is obstructed, because greed is never satisfied and it never rests. It has a consuming effect because there’s always something more to be gained or someone else to outdo. We’re like sheep, not very smart and willing to keep on eating, not knowing when to stop! A heart that’s filled with greed behaves in a similar way. Our motives are extremely self-serving when it comes to giving. Our pride gets puffed-up, so we give to impress others. Some give out of fear and guilt, hoping to buy God’s forgiveness for their sin. We look around and note that people are watching, so we give in order to gain their approval. Public opinion drives the decision-making process all too often. For giving to be the solution to our self-centered culture, we must be Spirit-driven. Let the Spirit drive your decisions not the opinion of others.

    Giving is a powerfully effective deterrent to greed when we give for no other reason than the sheer joy of giving. Proverbs 11: 24-25 says, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” It’s the sanctuary of one’s soul, the heart, which makes a person rich. They’re rich or poor according to what they are, not according to what they have. How does this relate to your life this Christmas?

    Remember, there are three types of givers. The first kind is the “flint”. To get anything out of a flint, you have to hammer it, and even then, you only get sparks. A second kind of giver is the “sponge”. You have to squeeze it and the more pressure you use, the more you’ll get. The third kind of giver is the “honeycomb”. It just overflows. What kind of giver are you? Experience the joy of Christmas when you experience the joy of giving!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I and II)”; “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study Guide for Spiritual Warfare” and “The Authentic Teenager: A Bible Study Guide to Truth and Positive Living” and “Spiritual Fitness For Runners” and “Understanding the Higher Power”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.

Posted by on Dec 25 2015. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *