There's something that's been on my heart for a long time now.
Something I want to share but at the same time I'm a little afraid to share.
Afraid of being misunderstood or having you think I'm saying something I'm not saying or even thinking I'm hard-hearted and selfish.
With Christmas coming and all the giving opportunities we have I can't help but look around at where our society is and wonder, have we given to much.
Maybe it's not that we've given to much but maybe given for the wrong reasons, maybe selfish reasons and in the end we may have caused more harm than good.
It makes us feel good to give so we do. We like to help people who we think need it, but what if we help to much.
What I mean is this, do you know the verse in the Bible that says, "Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting and conflict?" (Proverbs 17:1) I'm not talking about the conflict part of this verse but the dry crumb part.
I'm saying maybe sometimes it's better to let a man have a small Christmas that he and his family can afford than to run in and take their Christmas over.
Maybe it's better for a societies children to learn that sometimes there won't be a lot but what we have we worked for. Maybe it gives them the gift of pride and self-worth.
Please understand I'm not talking about cases of dire need I'm talking about a case where a family may only to able to give one or two gifts to their children and we think that's terrible.
The truth is it's not terrible.
Many of us were raised that way or with even less, but listen to the stories that go with those times. You don't have to listen long to hear the pride and the character that was built.
Our wonderful time of plenty has clouded our vision. It's made it easy for us to help so sometimes we reach out to help but when we stand back and look we see while we wanted to give we have stolen.
We've stolen a families sense of pride, maybe even their thankfulness and contentment.
Again, please don't hear what I'm not saying, I am not against giving at all but I am saying we might want to take another look at how we give.
We may want to work on praising a family for doing what they can and providing the kind of not only Christmas, but clothes and warmth and food for their family that they can with the work of their hands and sometimes that takes the whole family working together and that isn't a bad thing.
So many of the things that give people the grit and integrity we admire we're quick to want to take then we have seminars and meetings on how to fix our society's problems.
Again, I'm not saying don't give but let's not steal either.
Lets not give to the point that we weaken those we want to help.
There are harder things in life than a lean Christmas Tree, actually when you think about it a lean Christmas Tree can turn into something much more beautiful than a fat one.
I say all of that to say this, while you are looking for families to help this years remember there are more ways to help than one.
Encourage and praise the family that you see doing what they can with what they have, while we do need to help one another and be there for one another we do no one a service when we're to quick to always remove their struggle.
We steal their story when we do that and like I've said before we all need a story of I remember when to look back on and tell.
It's where our character is made so maybe if we think we need to see more character today we need to slow down on taking every ones hard time from them.
Maybe that's the best gift we could give.
I can say this because there was a time when my family was a family that you would have thought needed help.
Things were hard for us. The bottom had dropped out of the hog market and what was a barn full of money one day wouldn't pay the bills the next.
We struggled but we made it, now things are better. We have a story. Our children have a story.
Now if and when as they marry and struggles and hard times come they will know how to get by, they have lived through it.
They will know that if you have to shut the heat off in all the rooms save one and you all sleep in the one room that's the warmest and you are the one paying for the heat in that one room it's not a bad thing.
They will know how to be thankful for one room they can heat instead of the others that they can't. They will get up and work everyday doing what's before them to do and one day they won't be shutting rooms off.
They will have worked through the hard times and they will have been earned the gifts of grit and integrity.
Make sure that your giving isn't just giving for the good feeling make sure it is giving with a good return.
Make sure you are really helping a person up and not keeping them down.
Again I'm all for healthy giving and sharing of what we've been blest with so Happy healthy giving to all of you.