Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To “Spend” Your Life


Well, it’s that time of year again. Yuletide spirits, roasting chestnuts, and Figgy Pudding fill our every waking moment. Oh, wait. That’s not it; it’s endless marketing, flattering advertisements, and blatant materialism. (And, what exactly IS figgy pudding, anyway! Seriously? Does anybody know!?)

One thing I believe all Americans can agree on, Christmas has become too materialistic. Hmmm...this could be what we need to unify our nation—Democrats and Republicans, Evangelicals and Atheists, Catholics and Protestants agree, the Season has the wrong focus. What to do?

Truthfully, I’m not sure, but maybe this idea, originally postulated by Fred Craddock, could start us in the right direction. How will we spend our Christmas? Or, as Craddock askes, "How will we 'spend' our lives?"

Craddock say he thinks many of us have the concept of “giving our all to the Lord” as though we take a $1,000 bill and lay it on the Altar. We then say, “Here’s my life Lord. I’m giving my all.” But Craddock says he thinks God views us giving all by sending us to the bank and having us cash that $1,000 bill in on quarters. I like that! See, then we go through life putting out 25¢ here and 50¢ there.

Ever spend a Friday at a nursing home, painting fingernails and listening to the same story for the hundredth time? Ca-ching, 25¢! Ever get a call from a neighbor’s teenager at midnight? You could have said “Get lost.”, but you just listened until two in the morning. Have you served on a committee, poured drinks at a fellowship, or driven a battered wife to a shelter? Ever rung a Salvation Army bell, picked out an angel from a Christmas tree, or gone to a shut-in's house singing Christmas carols? 25¢ here. 50¢ there.

For the most part, giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It is done in those little acts of love, spent 25¢ at a time. It would be easier to go out in a flash of glory, but it is more important to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.

That is how Christ saw it. He said, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40. In-other-words, what we do for the helpless in society, we are doing for Him. So spend a little more this Christmas. Not in dollars, but in the “quarters” of your life. Donate your time. Drop an extra dollar in the Sacks of Love offering or Salvation Army bucket. Take some food to a needy neighbor. Invite someone to church.

Mostly...just love somebody—25¢ at a time.

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