It is that time of year, the bargain hunter’s delight… Black Friday! With all its adventure and the adrenaline rush of the hunt, it holds out hope that this day could make this Christmas celebration better.
After all, Christmas is about gift-giving, right? You know, the Magi gave gifts and even Jesus is the gift of God to a lost and dying world. And so we give. And the magnitude of our gift-giving displays one of the most beautiful of Christian virtues – generosity! So, Black Friday is a decidedly Christian event, whereby we get to be even more generous without it costing us more (you see, good stewardship too)! [sarcasm intended]
Well, let’s stop for just a moment and think about this. Giving to people what they do not need with money we do not have is not generosity. It is kinda foolish. Before you start calling me names, remember, I’m talking myself off the Black Friday cliff too.
Wouldn’t generosity be giving what we do have? Our money (even if limited), our time, our gifts and talents… generosity on our part shouldn’t entrap us in debt, but should free us to love. And what are we giving? What we give should enrich the lives of others – not just fill them. We should be giving to show love, to meet needs, and to bring joy to others.
The truth is, a lot of times we give things for reasons other than generosity. We give out of guilt, out of obligation, out of maintaining the family balance (as in $50 gift for one must mean a $50 gift for the other), wanting to be loved and appreciated, or even sometimes we give out of “one-ups-man-ship”.
Go ahead – enjoy Black Friday. But don’t be fooled into thinking that it replaces true generosity. True generosity takes what we have and offers it to make others’ lives even better. What would that gift look like?
What is the most generous gift you were ever given?