For some reason I have had a new outlook on Christmas this year, really struggling with spending any money what so ever. It's probably because this year God has been totally transforming Daniel and my thinking of what it really means to be a Christ follower.
Normally we over do (by our standards) I've usually got everyone a gift by now, usually already spent way over what I planned and justified it all with some silly excuse..."well, it was just such a GREAT deal"
I have loved the peace I have had this year though. I have not bought one single gift. I have not bought one single decoration. And what is strange is I have been at total peace with it.
Daniel and I even went as far as not asking the students to bring a gift to the Youth Christmas Party this year but rather a can good. We didn't know why, we just felt another gift was useless in the grand scheme of what goes on in the world.
The scripture that plays over and over in my mind is this:
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6
I don't think Jesus would celebrate Christmas like we do. I just don't. It goes against the complete teaching of Jesus! I think he would take more time out of the rest of the year to love people, make time for people, share in love with family rather than doing it just when the calender says to. I think he would do "can food drives" and "ring the bell" all year.
When you look at the world in it's vastness, how can we consume so much more stuff this Christmas? We tell ourselves, well it is the only time of the year I get new clothes, or the only time of the year I get my new perfume, It's the only time of the year I get anything for myself. But don't forget all of those meals out that we enjoyed over the year, all of those new toothbrushes we purchased, all of that clean water we drank and bathed with, all of those coffees we purchased or new accessories for our home, office or vehicle. Something as simple as a toothbrush or clean water could keep people from dying outside of America.
You're right, those gifts we purchased for that child off the tree or that time we donated to that organization was very nice and for sure better than nothing. But when Jesus says: Love God and Love People as much as you love yourself. How can you justify one $30 gift for that sweet child off the tree and three or four $30 gifts for your sweet child?
Below is a great video I would highly encourage watching! Daniel sent it to me today and it really help me put my thoughts and feelings into words.
May you be encouraged to hold tight to the teachings of Jesus and think outside of your culture during this Christmas season.