The Calgary Hitmen, a team with the Canadian major junior ice hockey league, have what is probably one of the coolest hockey traditions. Every year in December they play a game where they have a “Teddy toss.” When the Hitmen score their first goal, everyone in the stadium begins throwing teddy bears on the ice. From a sold out crowd of 19,289 fans, this year there were 28,815 stuffed animals tossed onto the ice (which was a new record). As you might imagine, the game takes a big break as workers begin collecting all the stuffed animals into big piles. The players even jump in as if they were piles of leaves. It’s a very fun and lighthearted event. Best of all, the stuffed animals are donated to less fortunate children (See Video Here).
One part about the holiday’s that is always great to see is the generosity of people. We tend to think more about helping others. We share what we have. We go out of our way to make the holiday’s pleasant for those who are struggling.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 plainly states, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
Since America is one of the wealthiest places on earth, it’s especially important for us to pay attention to these words. If we don’t, then we can fall right into the trap where we “fix our hope on the uncertainty of riches.” While we are allowed to have such material blessings, it’s important that we follow four guidelines.
First of all, we should “do good” with the wealth that we have. The word “good” used here is speaking about morally and spiritually good things. We should give to the church and find morally good works to support. The goal is to further God’s kingdom through our giving.
Second, we should “be rich in good works.” The word “good” used this time is talking good things attached more to a physical level and not necessarily spiritual. This would fall into the lines of giving to the homeless, to charities, to orphans, and other similar examples.
Third, we should “be generous.” Being generous is being willing and eager to share what we have. We are actively generous to others.
Fourth, we should be “ready to share.” The first three are speaking of actions, but this one is more about an attitude. We should carry around an attitude of generosity and being willing to share our wealth with others.
While being generous, we should also be good stewards of our money. There is a balance between generous with our wealth and being foolish with it. Let’s be quick to share and quick to give, especially to works that expand God’s kingdom and bring glory to Him. After all, the only reason we are wealthy in the first place is because God has allowed it, and He can take it away just as easily. But let’s not just be generous during the holidays. No matter the season, let’s always be generous, because in the end, it’s better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).