rick & 1j13
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Does anyone mind if I rant a bit? I mean, I'll get all the Scooge-iness out of my system (most of it anyways) before we really get into the holiday season. If it's ok with you, I'll rant and ramble a bit; if not, tough :)

Around here, there were Christmas displays up in many stores before Halloween 10/31. With Thanksgiving gone, we're now full bore into the Christmas Shopping Season. Notice it's not the Holiday Season, or the Christmas Season - but the Shopping Season. Everything's about the shopping, and something really strange happens to people: they buy things, and then give those things to people. What's up with that? Being totally serious here. I'm not allowed to buy anything for myself right now. No music, no DVDs, no games, no books. Nothing. If I buy it for myself, then what will other people do if they were going to buy that thing for me? So I have a list of things I want but cannot buy. That's so un-captialistic! Anything I buy, I'm supposed to give away. And if I keep it, I'm hurting them by not allowing them the freedom to give something to me.

Taking for myself is actually hurting someone else. Not denying myself (Mark 8:34) what I want actually denies another person the freedom to give.

Whatever I might say against the commercialism of this time of year, there is such a spirit of giving, of personal sacrifice to benefit others. For all of our talk as christians about loving each other, we might even fall short in giving sacrificially at this time of the year. And in the midst of that, we show that we're not very good receivers, either (John 3:27). We'd rather give than receive, like I'd rather buy that thing for myself now then have to tell you "thank you" later. When we "share Jesus," we expect to close the deal, offering salvation and the grace of God - and that's a good thing. But are we shut off from being able to *receive* anything from people to whom we're always trying to *give* salvation?

Maybe christians come across as pushy because we're not good at receiving. And in not receiving, maybe we discover that we're not the best givers, either (Acts 20:35).

End of rant - thanks for playing.
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