Seasonal Virtue vs. Perennial Generosity
Christmas time has become known as the season of giving. Depending on who you ask this “season” lasts anywhere between a month, beginning with the dark morning after Thanksgiving, and an hour, franticly running through Hello Kitty or (by God’s grace) the Apple Store on Christmas Eve. However long, it is a curious thing to view a particular holiday or season as the sole curator of a particular virtue. And Christmas is not alone. Valentine’s Day has monopolized the market of love. Veteran’s Day stands alone as our reminder to honor deserving men and women. And Arbor Day is the only day some people care about our dear friend the eucalypts.
Rather than accentuating a day’s certain virtue, when honestly considered, most holidays highlight the depravity of the other 364 days in a year. For believers this should not be. The Author of all that is good, invented generosity (not to mention love, honor, and all living things). Therefore as believers, our virtue, particularly our generosity, should not be predicated upon dates. Any virtue which is seasonal, is no virtue at all.
Creation resounds throughout history as the birthplace of generosity. From that moment forward the Lord has spoken, proven, and displayed his great love for humanity through giving; he is after all the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). The climax of such a giving love is found at the heart of the gospel–”For God so loved the world that he gave (John 3:16).” Our God is a faithful giving God.
The gospel is one of generosity’s defining moments. It is the reality of this generosity that we are constantly offered a way back to God–whether for salvation or sanctification. The gospel is not seasonal, its perennial. Therefore every time we give, we whisper the gospel to a world that is in far greater need than any single season can remedy. May this season of giving find its way into a lifestyle, that you may mimic the love of Christ for the sake of the gospel and the glory of God.