Bob Tamasy: Giving Shouldn’t Be Just A Holiday Thing

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

In the blink of an eye Christmas has come and gone. Final choruses of carols on the radio and in shopping malls have been sung. Gifts have been exchanged, cleverly designed wrapping paper now lies in shreds, and shouts of delight (and groans of disappointment) are fading echoes. In some homes Christmas trees have been taken down, with brightly colored ornaments packed and stashed away for another 11 months.

Salvation Army bells have been silenced, collection buckets hauled back to storage until next Thanksgiving. Annual fund drives for the poor and hungry have ceased. Many of us have contributed what we could to our favorite causes. Now we resume life as usual, post-holidays.

It’s great we can use the Christmas season to call special attention to people in need. That’s why some people call it the season of giving. But people aren’t hungry only in December. They need food and clothes and have bills they can’t pay in February, too. As well as June, September, and every other month. Financial struggles have no season.

Some of our holiday giving might have been prompted by school or church-sponsored “adopt a family” initiatives. Some of us chose the last month of the year to give because of tax benefits derived from charitable giving. Some of us gave because we felt sorry for folks standing at store and mall entrances, braving the elements so “the least of these” could receive tangible help. Even if our motives weren’t the purest, what we gave will certainly help someone.

Now as we prepare to bid adieu to another year and launch a new one to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” (or a more contemporary tune, if you prefer), it might be good to remind ourselves that generosity shouldn’t be just something we remember over the holidays. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35), and He certainly wasn’t talking to His followers about the Christmas season.

One of the benefits of giving is receiving the satisfaction of knowing we’ve assisted or pleased someone else. That’s certainly a good reason to give at any time of the year. But giving is also a part of our calling and responsibility as followers of Christ.

In fact, the concept of giving to people we don’t even like provided the context when Jesus discussed the so-called “Golden Rule.” “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:27-31).

Talk about hard sayings of Jesus! Being good to people who aren’t good to us? Then He explained, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great…” (Luke 6:32-35).

When I read this, I’m tempted to shout, “Jesus, You’ve got to be kidding!” But that’s what He said. Definitely counter-cultural, right? But He did mention something about a “reward.” What’s that about?

He concluded His brief discourse about giving with this promise: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:37-38).

We all enjoy receiving good things. So Jesus said we should be just as eager to give, whenever the opportunity arises, trusting we won’t go wanting as a result. In fact, we’ll be blessed more than we could imagine. So even though the “season of giving” is over, don’t forget to keep giving.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Extended Easter Sunday Service At Covenant Presbyterian

The Easter Sunday worship service at 9:30 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 8451 East Brainerd Road, will be an extended service with no other activities that day. A Seder service Thursday at the Colonnade in Ringgold, commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, eaten together by Jewish families the first night of Passover. What the church will do Thursday night ... (click for more)

"Overcoming Your Fear Of Death" Topic Sunday At Second Presbyterian

During the month of April Dr. Perry McCallen is leading a sermon series, "Overcoming Your Fear," at Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St. His topic for Sunday at 11 a.m. will be "Overcoming Your Fear of Death," with text from Luke 24:1-12. A Maundy Thursday Service of Shadows Communion will be held at 7 p.m. in the main sanctuary. (click for more)

Shots Fired During Armed Robbery At Rossville McDonald's

Shots were fired during an armed robbery at the McDonald's on Rossville Boulevard on Friday morning. At approximately 6:15 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a robbery at 4502 Rossville Blvd. at the McDonald’s.  Investigators discovered that two masked suspects entered the McDonald’s. One suspect fired a round into the ceiling and then ordered everyone to the ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy-Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee state lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Some Really Funny Tweets

I am not on Twitter so I don’t tweet. Difficulties with my right hand don’t even allow me to text and when you blend in the fact I am now a bonafide senior citizen, it is ample reason for me to live a life where I am lacking in what otherwise might be achieved through social networking. Twitter has done real well without me. It is one of the 10 most visited websites in the world; ... (click for more)