One of the latest viral videos to make the rounds was the WestJet Christmas miracle provided to a plane load of their unsuspecting customers. The YouTube video has over 30 million views when I last checked. It is a wonderful story. If you haven’t seen it already watch the video below before reading on.
The joy of giving
Tomorrow is Christmas Day. On no other holiday throughout the year does giving take center stage more so than on this day. We give gifts to friends and loved ones and hopefully, some where throughout the day we’ll remember the greatest gift, the Son of God who came to dwell among us.
Certainly, one of the things that stands out in the video is the joy on the faces of the people, particularly the children, as they received the gifts. We all love to receive gifts. But that isn’t what I want to focus on today.
The thing that strikes me in watching this video is the reaction of the WestJet employees. Watch the video again and note the smiles, laughter, and joy of the employees who were able to participate in the surprise.
Why should you get out of debt?
I talk a lot here about getting out of debt, getting control of your finances, saving money, etc. Why do I do that? Of course, there are many reasons for getting control of your finances. Peace of mind. The ability to weather the storms of life. Taking care of your family. And of course being able to enjoy some of the wealth that we build. Those are all legitimate reasons for getting out of deb and building wealth.
There is another reason though that I think is just as important, if not more important. When you are in a place where you are strong financially, you are in a position where you are able to give generously. It’s very hard for someone who is drowning to save their friend who is drowning as well. By the same token, when we are up to our eyeballs in debt and wondering how we are going to keep the lights on and food on the table, it’s very hard to be able to offer a helping hand to those in need.
We don’t pay off debt and build wealth just so we can sit around and compare bank statements. We do it so that we are able to give.
Some of the most fun you can ever have with money comes from giving. Look at those WestJet employees. You can tell they had a blast pulling off their little Christmas surprise. I suspect the passengers will never forget that trip, but I also doubt those employees will ever forget the experience they shared either.
Changing our world
I truly believe that if those of us who are Christians were able to get out of debt, practice the things that the Bible teaches about handling money and begin to give generously to those in need as God enabled us, we could put the government out of business. And you know what? We’d have a blast doing it.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
Have you experienced the blessing of giving? I’m not talking about some twisted prosperity gospel message of giving because God’s going to give back to you. I mean the simple joy of giving. Seeing the tears, relief, happiness, or joy on the face of the one whose needs you have met. Or better yet, some of the greatest joy I have ever received in giving has come from times when I found a way to do it without being known. The person I gave to will never know it was me, but I have the joy of knowing I helped someone that really needed it. That’s more fun that any “stuff” I’ve bought will ever provide.
Finding real joy this Christmas
I think part of the reason that giving is so much fun is because each time we give we become a little less self-centered and become a little more of who we were created to be. You see one of God’s core attributes is he is a giver. No where do we see that more clearly than when we remember that baby lying in the manger. He laid down his glory above to come and show us the way back to the Father. The Bible says that we are created in God’s image. So each time we give, we take a another step closer to being like Him.
So this Christmas I hope you are well. I hope you are able to enjoy the pleasure of exchanging gifts with loved ones. But most of all I hope you take a moment to reflect on the true joy of giving.