On the day that Jesus Christ was born, the heavenly host sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” And so it’s true that in Christian countries around the world, Christmas time is associated with exceptional giving and goodwill, which tapers off at some undefinable point in January. As true followers of Christ, our attitude of giving makes it Christmas time all year round in our circle of influence. As a result we stand out and are worth a closer look.
In My Fair lady, Eliza Doolittle passionately sang, “Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!… Don’t talk at all! Show me!” She was expressing the sentiments of millions around the globe. Even children, from a young age, realise that talk is cheap: “Put your money where your mouth is!”; “Actions speak louder than words!” … etc, etc. The world doesn’t want us to talk about the love of God; they want us to show them!
And it’s just as well because the beauty of Jesus is so difficult to capture in words. It needs to be demonstrated!
Jesus tells us to give as freely as we have received. We have received forgiveness and mercy and so we extend forgiveness and mercy to the people we interact with. We don’t need to extract our pound of flesh or insist on our own way because we are gloriously free. We have received unconditional love from God, who sees into the darkest little corners of our lives. This fills us with security and so we treat people kindly and gently.
We accommodate and make peace from a place of great strength. God sees beauty in us and so we see beauty in every person, even those who oppose us in some way. We are comforted in in our hardship and held in our grief, so we give ourselves with tenderness and compassion to others who are hurting. God has promised to provide for our every need. We don’t have to hold tightly to what we have. Rather, we confidently open our hands to feed the poor because the storehouse of God never empties.
We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and so produce fruit as proof. We give this fruit as a gift to our world. We are self-controlled, restraining our anger and frustration at the silliness of others. We keep in check passions and desires that might be hurtful or disrespectful and we live out the Godly principles we’re preaching, even when it’s hard. The world desperately wants to see the good guy take a noble stand and not succumb. Hollywood continually proves this! We are faithful friends, believing in the perfect plan of God even for the darkest soul. We live life with joy and peace, keeping the tone in the office or home even-keeled and fruitful.
There are limitless ways that we can give the love of God to the world, and when we do, the world sees the beauty and glory of God and is drawn to Him.
So don’t talk about it! Just do it!