Monday, November 26, 2007

Be Careful What You Teach Your Kids

Some of us can afford expensive stuff for our kids this Christmas and some of us can't. A couple of weeks ago I unpacked in a message (Heaven on Earth) how Jesus might warn us in overspending on presents, but after further reflection, I realized that example was directed at those who might be able to afford expensive gifts. I then started thinking of those of us who can't imagine overspending at Christmas because, quite frankly, we can't afford it. I want to briefly unpack a danger for parents who don't have a lot of money. Here it is - DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BE ABLE TO BUY EXPENSIVE PRESENTS!!! Jesus taught us that life has NOTHING (absolutely nothing) with material possessions (Luke 12:15). According to Jesus, you don't put your kids at any kind of disadvantage in experiencing all that life is meant to be by your lack of funds. However, if you are apologetic about what you can't afford, you might inadvertently teach them that they are missing out on something that money can get them (but Jesus says they're not). I know sometimes we like to dream about winning the lottery and "what would it be like if we had a million dollars". Jesus says that it wouldn't cause you to experience any more life that if you were dirt poor.

Here's a new approach. Teach them the life-giving effects of Kingdom seeking (read Matthew 6 and Luke 12). Instead of dreaming about what if you got - dream about what if you gave?