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Don’t you think it’s ironic that in the business world, the end of the year is usually crunch time for all businesses to meet their year end budgets and goals.  It’s gimmie, gimmie, gimmie so I can meet my quota or objective.  It seems so counter cultural to the “Christmas Season”.  Often times the price required to reach those goals can be very high, and I don’t just mean financially.  People get layed off.  Customers shipments get delayed.  Quality may fade a bit to meet minimum standards so as to get by and maybe save a few bucks.  Attention to the customer  may wane just because  our companies emphasis is not focused on their needs right now but more towards the financial mandates of our company.  And let’s not forget of course, you have to work lots of extra hours.

Now I know this sounds a bit one sided.  However companies must make a certain profit margin to justifiably stay in business and in fact, they deserve that opportunity.  I too am a business owner and realize oh so well that pressure.  My point is that during this special time of the year (Christmas Season), it is so very difficult to think beyond that kind of business pressure because we are so stressed about meeting our company needs we have and much less of the needs of others around us.  Finding time in the midst of all this pressure to give to those less fortunate ones is too often masked over by the everyday pressures of year end sales and production requirements.

Let’s acknowledge that some of our companies must  push very hard at the end of the year to make it, especially these days.   However,  as Christians in the marketplace,  let’s not forget the often used cliche, “reason for the season”.  We need to first of all give thanks to God for everything.   Then give our employers the best effort possible as they are counting on us to help maintain and grow the business and our future with them.  As owners, we need to realize that our companies earthly future and it’s eternal future have commonality and we need to be constanly aware of both responsibilities.  That’s why we’re the boss.  It’s our Divine expectation.  We also have responsibilities to our customers and employees that they deserve and we must be committed to them also.

But the point I want to share about this annual description of the marketplace is this.  Isn’t it interesting that in todays world, the Lord God has positioned the recognition of the birth of His Son Jesus Christ to be at the same time as all this crazyness?  What’s the deal?  Is there some significance to that irony? 

Here’s my take on it.  He (God) ,conveniently arranged for us (The Body of Christ),  to celebrate His giving to us His one and only Son at this very busy time of year to hopefully remind us also to give of ourselves and to help others in need as He did.  Now we could never give to the degree that He did, but that’s not the point.  At least this one time a year, we Christians are reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season and especially in the marketplace and this is an excellent opportunity to show the love of Jesus by the generous and loving example we show to others. 

The word says that where your treasure is, there your heart is also.  Have you asked yourself lately, where is my treasure?  Do I have a spirit of giving like the Father?  Does my business activity take precedence over my heart activity?  Sure, family is usually in the forefront of your year end celebrations, but how about the less fortunate ones right around you?  Is there someone at work who could use an encouraging word?  Is there an employee family in need of a really good meal or presents for their children they can’t afford this year?  You don’t know you say?  Well that’s the first hint that you need to do a little work on the heart issue.  Check it out!

Believe it or not.  As marketplace ministers, which is what you are, these types of heartfelt gestures can do more to influence the lost than all the door to door knocking evangelism you could do for the next ten years.  Like I have suggested before.  “This is a great chance to evangelize and even use words if you have to”. 

Jesus was a giver and a lover.  No greater harvest for the King is possible by Kingdom standards than by following those two principles.  This Christmas season, won’t you try and take a few moments each day to thank God for all your many blessings and then, think of someone you can give of yourself to.  When you sense an opportunity, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and submit yourself to His leading.  Then you will truely realize that the “Reason for the Season” has to do with giving of yourself and not just balancing the budget.

Blessings……..Rich Forster   KBJ Publisher