Do you ever feel weary from having to give gifts to all and sundry at this time of year? Christmas has become a season of gift buying, card posting, and feeding the relatives. When charities jangle their collection plates under our noses, we toss in a few coins to sooth our conscience and then carry on partying.
Like millions around the world, I became caught up in the shopping madness. Not only did I give my siblings and mother gifts but I bought each member of a charismatic house church a present. This caused me great hardship, particularly when I went to high school and when I was unemployed in December of 1980.
After I left the church in 1987, I still gave gifts to family and friends. As the years passed, I became increasingly tired of the yearly shopping ritual. Giving inexpensive presents to people and receiving the same seemed crazy. Having thought it over, I dropped out of the Christmas rat race in 1992.
When I resumed my walk with the Lord in 1996, I decided to refrain from giving my rich friends gifts. Instead, I donated to various charities such as The Salvation Army and Hope Mission. Christ taught that when we invite people to a dinner, we should call the poor to it instead of our comparatively well-off friends. The poor can’t pay us back but God will consider our charity as treasure in heaven. Reasoning along that line in regard to Christmas, I gave to the poor. Christ also said that helping the unfortunate was like helping him. Giving to the destitute makes much more sense in light of his teaching than buying trashy gifts for my friends who can buy those items for themselves.
I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.