Christmastime is a season of generosity, a season of focusing on others, rather than ourselves, giving generously to others and receiving the generosity of others. I was recently reminded of a story that is not a Christmas story but that nonetheless captures the heart of the Christmas season.
Nabal was a very wealthy man who owned a large amount of livestock. Nabal’s servants were tending sheep in the wilderness near David and about 600 of his men. David treated the shepherds and the livestock well and even provided some level of protection for them during their time together. Sometime later, David and his men needed provisions, so he sent ten of his men to Nabal with a request for whatever he could give them. Nabal, known to be a harsh and unfriendly man, refused to share anything with David. Nabal’s wife, Abigail, on the other hand was discerning and sensible. When she learned of how her husband had responded, she quickly pulled together a generous supply of food and sent it to David. Abigail acted wisely, seizing the opportunity to give. She gave in a tangible way honoring David, the anointed king. In her act of generosity, she saved her household from impending destruction. (see 1 Samuel 25)
This obviously is not a Christmas story, but it does serve as a reminder of the following principles related to generosity:
• Be alert for opportunities to give to others in need.
• Give from a generous heart, not grudgingly.
• Consider the recipient of the gift as you plan your gift.
• Give in proportion to what you have available.
• Once you identify an opportunity to give, be diligent and timely in delivering the gift to those in need.
Christmastime is a reminder of the extravagant generosity that God demonstrated when He gave the long-expected gift of his Son and offered everlasting life to those who would receive His gift. From each of us at Master’s, we wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!