– by Got Questions
Does gift-giving take away the true meaning of Christmas?
Many people take the idea of gift giving at Christmas back to the Scripture in Matthew 2:10-11 which talks about the Magi (wise men) giving gifts to Jesus at His home: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
The best Gift of all
The Bible gives a wonderful story about the Gift God gave us, Jesus Christ, and we can use it as an opportunity to present the Gospel and to show love. Giving and receiving gifts can be part of fulfilling what Paul says about giving in 2 Corinthians 8:7-8, “But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”
Paul was talking to the churches who were giving him gifts (financial) so that he could keep on in the ministry. We can apply this same lesson to our own lives by giving to others, not just at Christmas, but year round!
To give or not to give?
So, can gift giving become the focus of Christmas instead of thanking the Lord for the Gift of His Son (John 3:16)? Absolutely! Does giving gifts have to take away from the true meaning of Christmas? No, it does not. If we focus on the wonderful gift of salvation the Lord has given us (Isaiah 9:6), giving to others is a natural expression of that gratitude. The key is our focus. Is your focus on the gift, or on the ultimate gift-giver, our Heavenly Father? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights…” James 1:17.
The true meaning of Christmas
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17. The real Christmas story is the story of God becoming a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. Why did God do such a thing? Because He loves us! Why was His birth necessary? Because we needed a Saviour!
Christmas is about God’s love
God loved His own and provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him. He gave His only Son to take the punishment for our sins. He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love. “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. Why do we celebrate Christmas each year? Out of gratitude for what God did for us, we remember His birth by worshipping Him, celebrating as families and being conscious of the less fortunate