A television commercial I enjoy at Christmastime shows two neighbors in a friendly competition with each other to see who can spread the most Christmas cheer. Each keeps an eye on the other as he decorates his house and trees with lights. Then each upgrades his own property to look better than the other’s. They then start competing over who can give the most extravagantly to other neighbors, running around cheerfully sharing gifts.
God’s people aren’t in a competition to see who can give the most, but we are called to be “ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim. 6:18). The apostle Paul instructed the church at Corinth: “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
At Christmastime, as we share gifts with others, we remember the generosity of God toward us—He gave us His Son. Ray Stedman said, “Jesus set aside His riches and entered into His creation in a state of poverty in order to enrich us all by His grace.”
No gift-giving could ever compete with the Lord’s extravagance. We thank God for the indescribable gift of Jesus! (v.15).