Friday's Handwriting on the Wall posts will feature Chuck's new ChristianPost.com column, Ask Chuck. Chuck will be answering questions about what the the Bible has to say about money. Please share on #financialfridays and submit your own questions here. @AskCrown
Originally posted at Christian Post December 25, 2015.
We work so hard to give our children a beautiful Christmas experience. Although we are not rich by any means, we are blessed in comparison to many. When it’s all said and done, the kids can be a little “spoiled” on Christmas day. With all the excitement at Christmas what are some ways to teach my children to be grateful and remind them that there are others who are not as fortunate as us?
With four sons of our own, we have encountered the same concerns. We want them to have a great Christmas but also remember to be grateful for what we have and to remain concerned about the needs of others.
Being generous with our own children is not inappropriate, so long as we are also generous with others.
I think your heart is a reflection of the risk God took on our behalf when He chose to bless us so abundantly. The risk is that we will fall in love with the blessings and forget where they come from. As a friend of mine likes to say, “we have to be careful not to forget the baker when He supplies the bread.”
Here are some thoughts that have helped our family.
First, it is important to teach your children to be generous in every way. The more generous we are, the more likely they will be as well.
In our home, we tithe and give to the Lord, not because He needs the money or because we are trying to earn points with God in heaven but because we love Him and we need to be givers. Our giving flows out of genuine gratitude, and we offer back a portion of what He has given us to acknowledge the source of every good and perfect gift. The true owner of all that we have and are is God himself, and in tithing, we acknowledge God’s ownership of all and our appreciation of what he has given us.
A tithe is usually 10 percent, a portion of our income that we give to God and to God's work. It is the first check we write, as Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce.” If you need help in learning how to create a budget that includes tithing, click here, to see how a budget should be organized.
In the New Year, I encourage you and your family to show your appreciation for God by making tithing a priority. In giving a portion of income to the work of the Lord, to our church and to ministries that change lives, we show that our faith is not in our money but in our God.
Next, it is important we teach our children to be generous not only with their money but with their relational capital as well. In my wife’s home, it was not uncommon for a needy person - a single Mom or a family going through unemployment or a lonely senior citizen- to be present for Christmas lunch. These folks would be treated with gifts, fun, food and laughter just as if they belonged to the family. It was a reminder that in the midst of our own abundance to share with those who are struggling.
Another method is to get involved on a regular basis with those that need our help. This may or may not be a trip to the local rescue center or shelter but possibly someone in your own church. Our family volunteered to pick up and deliver an elderly shut in to our church. Because a drunk driver hit her while she was standing on a street corner earlier in her life, she lost a leg and is confined to a wheel chair. The process of picking her up, transporting her to church and getting to know her on the trips back and forth was a blessing to our family. It opened the eyes of our sons of how easy it is to serve others while also reminding them to be grateful for our circumstances.
Jesus condescended to take on our humanity in order that we might know of His great love for us. We should make every effort to remain humble, grateful and generous for all His has done for us.
For daily encouragement, you can sign up to receive the God is Faithful devotional from Crown by email by clicking here. And by the way, Merry Christmas to you and yours!