November 22, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

Principle 5

 

Holiday Giving”

Sharon Glasgow, Proverbs 31 Speaker


Key Verse:

“She sees that her trading is profitable.”   Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Everybody was staring at me as I opened the present. My acting abilities aren’t exactly silver screen quality, but as I pulled the suit out of the tissue, I mustered every ounce of enthusiasm I could, “Thank you … you shouldn’t have!”

 

I didn’t like the style. With a quick glance I noticed that it was 3 sizes too big. Whew, that will be my excuse, I thought, its just way too big. She asked me to try it on anyway. “Oh Sharon, it’s perfect on you!” What was she looking at? It swallowed me whole. I would’ve drowned by the time I walked out the door.

 

After staring at it for a week, I just couldn’t bear the thought of ever wearing it. There were no tags on it for me to exchange it, so I decided I would take it to a consignment store to sell. 

 

The next week I went shopping with my girls. Walking by the suit section of a department store, my eyes caught a glimpse of the suit I had just taken to the consignment shop. Quickly I picked up the tags to see the price, a hot flash went over my face. The kids were talking to me but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I was sick!

 

The price tag said $280! What? How could anyone spend that much money on me? And for this suit? Immediately I called the consignment shop I’d left it at. They were closed until Monday.

 

Monday morning 15 minutes before they opened I was at their door waiting anxiously. As soon as it was unlocked, I pushed through the door and quickly asked if they still had my suit. They had to go to the back to find out. The minutes felt like years. They found it! “Funny thing is ma’am, that was the most popular suit this past weekend, many tried it on but it didn’t fit anyone.” “Thank you,” I said and I took the suit back out of the shop.

 

I took it back to my friend, thanked her and told her it was a beautiful suit but it just wasn’t my style and it didn’t fit properly. No, I didn’t tell her the whole consignment shop story, I probably never will - unless she reads this!

 

My point is, gift-giving is hard even for talented shoppers. Receiving gifts can be just as hard sometimes!

 

This holiday, speak up if someone asks you what you’d like to receive. Try asking friends and family to window-shop online or in a store that you have access to, and make a list of items they like. You can pick from what they have chosen. Or ask them if there is a service you can treat them to like a car wash or manicure. Gift certificates are usually a good bet as well.

 

Shopping this way may not seem special enough, but it’s better to be wise with the money God entrusts you with than to gamble on buying an expensive gift the recipient might dislike and dump at consignment. Not only the money but the time you spent shopping would be wasted. Finally, remember that the good news of the baby Jesus is the greatest Christmas gift ever given, and it doesn’t cost a dime to share that with those on your gift-list this year.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Help me to be wise this year in my gift giving. Help me to make the best use of my shopping time. I want the money I spend and the time invested to bless others and bring glory to You. In Jesus’ Name Amen.

 

Additional Resources:

Total Money Makeover  by Dave Ramsey

 

Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey

 

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling financial author Dave Ramsey has made a special offer available to our subscribers and all who seek financial peace or would like to help someone else who needs it.  Through November 27th, all of Dave's books, DVD's, CD's, software and more are available for only $10 each. Click here to find out about these resources and more.

 

Dave has written many books including THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER. He is a follower of Christ and along with his company The Lampo Group seeks to provide Biblically-based, common sense education on finances to instill hope and empower everyone from the financially secure to the financially distressed.

 

Application Steps:
Be a good listener throughout the year and when someone mentions something they would like, write it down (somewhere you’ll remember to look again!).

 

Send a Christmas questionnaire out to the relatives, along with a couple of gift suggestions for the people in your family.

 

Ask God to help you make wise decisions.

 

Reflection Points:

Are you anxious about holiday gift-giving?

 

Have you set a pre-determined amount you will spend on gifts?

 

You’ll have more time to celebrate Christ this Christmas if you get organized regarding your budget and gift-giving now.

 

Power Verses:

2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. “ (NKJ)

 

Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (NKJ)

 

Ecclesiastes 7:12, "Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor." (NIV)

 

Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (NKJ)