“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21, 30-34
This week is the beginning of the “Giving Season.” Halloween is over; a holiday that seems to say, “give me” candy or “give me” attention. Thanksgiving is quickly approaching; a holiday that invites us to pause and reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Before you know it, Christmas will be here and it’s time to give gifts to those you love as well as find ways to give to others who are less fortunate. It’s as if this season was designed to prepare our hearts to give.
However, this time of year is also wrought with busyness and the pressure to be more, do more and spend more than the year before. The anxiety of who is deserving of gifts, the arguments and hurt feelings over whose family should be visited and when, can make for a very warped view and experience of the “Giving Season.”
Jesus tells us to give without expectation of recognition and to “store up treasures in heaven.” Heavenly treasures aren’t material things. They’re the grace we extend to others; the gifts we give because of awareness of a need or a willingness to help heal a hurt, and our determination to see the world around us through God’s eyes. Jesus reminds us how meaningless it is to worry about material things and people’s expectations. This worry can distract us from the Kingdom of God mission—making things on earth the way they are in heaven—that is not limited to this one season.
Consider an area where you can give some of your time and be of service to others between now and the end of the year. Get others involved too. You will enjoy yourself more and be a blessing to others as you give during this season.
God, I seek Your guidance for my generosity. Replace any time I would spend in worry with an opportunity for me to give of myself to others.
This Inspirational Thought is an edited version of an e-devotional written and published by EastLake Church. You can sign up to receive their weekday emails by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.