The Season of Giving
Everyone agrees that this time of year is a time to care about our fellow man; a time to do what we can to help those in need. That’s one of the side benefits of Christmas – sharing our blessings with others. By and large, Americans are quite good at sharing our abundance with others. Annually, we give about 300 billion dollars to charity. That is the highest per capita of any nation on earth. We are a generous lot. We do care about others who need our help.
Directly or indirectly, this generous spirit we have is a result of God’s generosity to us. He gave us the greatest Gift of all – Jesus, God Incarnate. His gift of salvation gave us something we could not do for ourselves – forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Because God has showered His blessings on us, we share them with others in a way to reflect the love God has given us.
A beautiful, practical example of this was shared recently on the Facebook site – 2 Million Bikers. A disabled American vet asked for help getting from Georgia to Connecticut to be by his daughter’s bedside. She had been in a serious car accident. The man had no means top get there; and given the pending snowstorm, his prospects looked bleak indeed to be with his daughter.
But, word got out via the site and people lined up to provide transportation, logistics, food, and financial support to indeed get this father to his daughter’s side. He is currently with her now as she faces a very difficult road to recovery. But, without this caring, loving, ad hoc network of people who stepped in, this would not have happened.
This story illustrates America at its best – people helping their neighbors in need. It is part of our Christian heritage and legacy. We have fed, clothed, and provided medical care for more people in the world than any other nation in history.
Another story came out recently which shows the exact opposite. Sen. Tom Coburn has released his list of government waste and abuse for this past year. Here is exactly what is wrong in America – unaccountable government wasting the people’s money on frivolous expenditures that are only designed to benefit particular interest groups and buy votes. Among the items our tax dollars went to support was a study of duck penises costing us $384,989!!! (No, I’m not making that up!!! And no, I don’t know if Barney Frank or Anthony Weiner was behind the study!!!)
The truth is – government makes a lousy charity. It is wasteful, inefficient, and corrupt in its distribution of funds. That is why God commissioned the Church to meet the needs of the poor, not the government. Government was created to punish evil and promote good.
Sadly, in our day and age, too many people, including too many in the Church, have begun seeing government as “Santa Claus”, handing out largesse to anyone smart enough to plug into the system. We see this in ballooning social welfare programs, corporate welfare programs, and “crony capitalism” of the worst sort today.
It has bankrupted and weakened this nation in all areas. It has to stop!
No one wants to see those in real need suffer. No one wants to turn a blind eye to real poverty. But, the truth is today, far too many people have an “entitlement mentality” that makes them useless to society, family, and their own souls. I see this regularly now in the ministry. The majority of people who contact the church for aid aren’t those who are incapable of helping themselves – those who are truly needy. No, what I am seeing increasingly today are those who are con artists – gaming the charity system to avoid having to work and those who have not the slightest bit of self-respect, self-control, or common sense about money management.
In other words, I am talking about people who are completely capable of taking care of themselves, but have little or no interest in doing so.
Instead of teaching self-sufficiency, our culture is encouraging dependence. Why? It is because these people are a growing voting block for the left. The Democrats and many RINOs know full well that votes are easily bought from this group. But, if they start taking care of themselves and creating their own prosperity, there will be no need for the phony charity government provides!
The sad result of this scheme is that American freedom and inner strength are being eroded away. As more and more people surrender to the temptation of “free government handouts”, the weaker and weaker we become as a people. We become ripe for slavery and loss of humanity.
Marxist theory demands the weakening of a people in all cultural areas as a prelude to totalitarianism. People who can no longer think, fend, and live for themselves are easily enslaved. That is the goal today by America’s left.
By promoting a phony “Christ-less social gospel”, they hope to seduce more and more people into believing the lie that government handouts are the same as Christian charity.
It is not! Giving from a heart of gratitude for God’s grace is 180 degrees opposite from government confiscation and redistribution to those whom it deems worthy of receipt. Taking money from one person and giving it to another is not generous in the least!!
The real losers in all this are the people who have sold their American birthrights for pots of “government stew”!! They will never know the blessings of working hard and receiving just wages for that work. They will never know the joy of sharing the abundance with those who are truly in need. They will never know the Grace of God poured out in their lives that has freed them from slavery to sin and selfishness. They will never know the true American freedom that recognizes our inalienable rights come from God, not from any government entity, program, or leader. In the end, they will all become slaves of the state and “the ruler of this world.”
So, what can we do; those of us who love God and the freedom He gives us? We can share His abundance with those we are sure are truly in need. And, we need to educate those who aren’t. Paul’s advice in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “ For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (NASB) is applicable at this point. When we encounter some able-bodied person standing in front of us with their hand out, instead of putting money in it, let’s try putting a shovel, a hammer, or a pencil!
We Christians are the most generous group on the planet. We need to keep on sharing God’s blessings with others. But, we must be wise and not waste the resources God gives us. If we want to help the truly needy, we cannot waste our gifts on those who have the ability to do for themselves. Besides, in so doing for those who can do for themselves, we create dependency were it is not necessary. We help to destroy their lives.
Second, we need to remove from every elected office, those politicians who think government charity is the answer to our nation’s social problems. They are “enablers” that have to be removed from positions of power. We need leaders at all levels of government who make it their sacred duty not to waste one dime of taxpayer money on things that aren’t absolutely essential to the survival and security of this nation.
And finally, we must celebrate this Christmas season with all the joy, excitement, and exuberance of a people whose sins are forgiven because of God’s greatest Gift – Our Lord Jesus!!!