16 December 2011

From Greed to Grace ... ‘tis the Season


“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” - Hebrews 13:16

I need to make a confession. My name is Donna Weaver and I am a Christmas movie junkie. I think I’ve already watched some of my favorites at least 3 times. And of course I’ve probably watched at least half a dozen (or more) variations of “The Christmas Carol.” The other night as I was watching yet another version of the classic movie, I realized how it actually reflects many of the principles found in Luke 19:1-10. A classic redemption story.

Just for fun, let’s do a little comparison of Zacchaeus and Scrooge.

Zacchaeus: Unpopular, chief tax collector who made himself rich at the expense of other Jews.
Scrooge: Selfish, miserly banker who became wealthy at the expense of others.

Zacchaeus: Jesus loved him.
Scrooge: The Crachits loved him.

Zacchaeus: After he met Jesus, he had a change of heart and realized that he needed to make amends.
Scrooge: After meeting the three ghosts, he realized that he needed to change his life.

Zacchaeus: Gave half of his possessions to the poor, and said he would pay anyone he cheated four times the amount.
Scrooge: Made up for his wrong doings. He became joyful and generously gave to others.

Most of us probably don’t consider ourselves to be like Scrooge or Zacchaeus. I don’t think of myself as a “greedy person.” However, there are many ways that greed can bury itself in our soul and rear its ugly head from time to time. Characteristics such as self-indulgence and stinginess are not the only signs of greed. What about envy, gluttony, longing, hoarding, or resentment?

Consider: Do I hoard my time or resources that could be used to help others? Am I always discontent, needing the best of everything? Is my time spent on wishing for what I don’t have, rather than being thankful and enjoying what I do have?

There are many similarities between the Story of the Tax Collector and The Christmas Carol – but there is one huge difference. Even though both of the main characters learned to appreciate the value of love and compassion over cold, selfish greed ... one (Zacchaeus) was taught by being loved by Jesus, and the other (Scrooge) was frightened in to repentance by three scary ghosts.

Our God is a loving God  and He constantly reveals His grace to us, giving us second chances. I asked myself, “When that happens, do I breathe a sigh of relief, or do I learn from the experience and change my ways?”

As I prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, I want my heart to be overflowing with peace, love, and joy! I don’t know about you, but I think this is a perfect season to examine our hearts and see what is really hiding deep within.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle ... action required ...
God has lavished us with His grace. As Christmas Day approaches, let’s share the blessings and grace that He has bestowed upon us, with those less fortunate. Search your heart ... can you give a little of your time, donate some food, spare a little change, do a kind deed?

Remember, your “spark” might just be the light that keeps someone else’s candle burning!

Have a blessed weekend -
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
- Melody Beattie, Author


Colin, Juanita, Ian, Brooke and Gavin said...

Oh my friend your words resonate with me today. I think that at this season we so easily become wrapped up in the doing and we forget to just be..... to be with Him, to be thankful to Him, to worship Him for all that he give us.

And, I am a Christmas movie and music junkie too..... we should do a movie fest next year!

Be blessed my friend, just like you bless others!


Donna Weaver said...

I think the idea of a "movie fest" is a must for next year. Boxes of kleenex and Christmas cookies ... it's a plan!

Blessing of friendship are cherished gifts from God. Thanking Him for our friendship!

Peace, Donna