Attorney Yiru Sun called off her wedding after refusing to sign a prenuptial agreement, but couldn’t get a refund on the reception hall. She decided instead to throw a party for 60 underprivileged families, none of whom she’d ever met. Wearing her wedding dress, Sun mingled as her guests enjoyed food and face-painting. “I cannot be the princess of my wedding day,” she told the New York Post, “but I can give the kids a fairy tale.” (Story from Readers’ Digest)

Generosity changes lives. As we approach Christmas, could these three unique characteristics of giving impact the lives of those you love?

  1. Giving can build relationship. Many people are shifting their Christmas shopping toward buying “experiences” rather than “things.” Why not purchase tickets to a play or sporting event you can attend together? Gifting a membership to a local museum or zoo, a special outing, or a full family vacation are all ways you can connect and enjoy time with one another.
  2. Giving is good stewardship. According to theologian R.C. Sproul, “The way we allocate our time, effort, and money speaks volumes about our heart’s priorities, giving us a clear window into our own spiritual maturity.” When we give, we’re actively acknowledging God’s ultimate ownership of everything and honoring Him with an open hand.
  3. Giving is an act of worship. Author Jay Link said, “There is no story in the Scriptures that more vividly connects giving to worship than that of the wise men entering the very presence of this God-baby, Jesus. Here is how Matthew describes the scene, ‘On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and incense and myrrh.’ These magi could not worship Jesus without also opening their treasures and presenting their gifts to Him.”

An often overlooked way to worship the King and re-think your giving is by including a gift in your Will to an organization you care about. This could be an expression of your gratitude and praise for the blessings you have received throughout your life.