I had the privilege of purchasing food for a local ministry that feeds the homeless and low/no income families. With my family on a single income, picking out two boxes was a great sacrifice to our budget. (The cost it took to fill these two boxes IS my family’s grocery budget for a week.) But that is what these holiday seasons are all about right?
I know it sounds cheesy but the experience of purchasing these items and boxing them with my kids was truly priceless. Yes, my toddlers fussed and/or ran up many of the store isles but there were glimpses of conversations with my four year old about what we were doing, what God could do because of it, and how this would make the other families feel. When we finished boxing up everything I asked my kids if they wanted to pray for the families who would get what we bought. My daughter asked to say the prayer. I was literally brought to tears by her innocent, jumbled up, passionate words. She got it. She understood. Priceless.
Scripture calls us to serve and sacrifice for many reasons. When we refuse or make excuses, withholding our time, money, patience, hearts, lives…etc we REALLY miss out. Not to mention the obvious effects of our stinginess- local churches RUN on the money given from the people who attend and the service of those who attend, local non-profit organizations RUN on the money given from personal donations and the time people give up to volunteer. If tithing $5 a week is not a sacrifice for you- stop. If donating only one box of food to a local ministry is not a sacrifice- don’t.