Weekly bulletin article by Mike Johnson

The giving season is upon us! Advertisements, both visual and audio, induce, tempt, and in all ways attempt to coerce us into buying something to give to someone. It just seems to me sometimes that the giving part has been hijacked by the selling part.

Now, I understand that our economy needs a shot in the arm. The business part of the giving season always goes a long way toward helping the overall economy. I am not a financial genius, but this seems to be a good thing for our society—a robust economy, that is.

The downside to all of this, however, is an unintended consequence. A tendency to emphasize getting over giving is a real concern. Sellers who want to sell more to make more money, appeal to the basic nature of people to want more. In this way, the “giving mentality” can easily become lost in the “getting mentality”.

How about we re-engage the conversation on the power of giving? The discussion could begin with Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” These words were attributed to Jesus as words that He uttered during His earthly ministry. We actually receive more by giving than by receiving. This is the power of giving!

The story of Jesus teaches the same thing. He gave through His death (Philippians 2:8). “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)