Christmas and the G Word
by Carey Nieuwhof
Hi. My name is Carey, and I’m greedy. (This is the point where you all say, “Hi Carey.”)
Gosh, I hate to say it. I mean no one goes around and says they’re greedy, right? We might think other people are greedy (it’s just so easy to spot the sins of others, even from a distance), but it’s so difficult to see in ourselves.
But read this definition of greedy and tell me if at least a piece of it doesn’t own you—or your kids.
Greed is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
What makes this time of year difficult for greedy people is that we’re going to add to the pile of what we have that we arguably don’t need. There are things I want that I don’t need. And most of us are actually going to receive things that not only do we not need, but we do not want. In the incredibly affluent culture of North America, the problem of greed runs deep.
There’s a fine line we tread as parents in helping our kids celebrate Christmas. I still remember the almost delirious excitement I had as a child in being able to open gifts at Christmas. Let’s face it, what kid doesn’t love to get gifts at Christmas?
So, how do you make sure, as a parent, that you don’t inadvertently fuel greed in your family this Christmas?
I suppose there are a few options:
But those are almost certain recipes to kill some of the joy that comes with Christmas.
In my experience, the very best antidote to greed I’ve discovered is generosity. The more I give, the deeper I cut into the greed that lives inside of me.
The more I am willing to take giving to a sacrificial level (to the point where we are not doing things as a family because we are giving income away), the more I am reminded that this life is not about me or about my wants and desire. By far, generous giving is the best antidote to the greed that lives inside of me.
As Christmas approaches, ask yourself this question: what am I doing to stem greed in my family this Christmas? Maybe you could:
What helps you wrestle down greed in your life and in your family?
About the Author:
Carey Nieuwhof is the lead pastor of Connexus Church and author of several books, including Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (with Reggie Joiner) and his latest book, "Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow." Carey speaks to church leaders around the world about leadership and parenting. He writes one of the most widely read church leadership blogs at www.CareyNieuwhof.com and hosts the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast where he interviews top leaders each week.