Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rethinking Christmas

Last Christmas, our 20s group participated with our church staff in the One Gift Campaign through Advent Conspiracy. And this year we are opening it up to challenge the entire congregation. I loved this campaign last year, and I have committed to it again this year.

Christmas has become something it was never intended to be...stress, shopping lists, traffic jams, unnecessary consumerism. All the marketing, the spending, the debt that people accumulate...why do we do it to ourselves? And why do we as Christians get caught in it? I can't help but be a little sick over what we have done to the celebration of Christ's birth. The fact that we as Americans spend $450 Billion every year on Christmas and it is estimated to take only $10 Billion to solve the world's fresh drinking water crisis...it's enough to make me stop and rethink my Christmas.

I love giving and receiving gifts as much if not more than the next person. Buying Christmas presents for the ones you love is a good thing. The whole concept of giving is biblical, and I believe God is glorified when we give to others. But do we really need half the things we buy? Do we really need an extra material thing? I have been very convicted lately on just exactly how I spend my time and my money. God has given me such an overabundance...am I really using His resources in the best way? Because everything I have is His...and I am pretty sure He didn't give me what He has so that I could spend it on things that will perish. I really feel like our American mentality has messed with our priorities and how God truly intends for us to serve Him.

What if we did spend less and give more? What if we spent less money on a material gift and more time with friends, family, loved ones? What if we decided to spend our money on something that actually mattered?

So this year, I have decided that I don't want anything for Christmas. I am so broken by what God has placed on my heart, that none of the material things matter. I can certainly do without gifts this Christmas. Anything I receive, I plan to return and give the money to the One Gift Campaign so that a family across the globe can have clean drinking water. I don't post this commitment out of pride or self-praise...I post it as a confession that my priorities are out of wack and something has to change. Instead I post it as a concrete commitment for which I desire accountability. Because I really want new boots for Christmas. And it would be so tempting to ask for them anyway. Because when push comes to shove, it's going to be hard to return something I open that I really like. But I am choosing to honor God by fulfilling this commitment to Him. I want you to ask me about it.


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