Merry Christmas! From the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles to the end-of-year giving pleas from non-profit organizations, Christmas is a time of giving. Although Christmas is about receiving the ultimate gift that God gave us through our Lord Jesus Christ, most of us equate Christmas with giving and receiving gifts. The gift tradition comes from the gifts the magi presented to Jesus. A pastor from South Carolina, who was also celebrating his eighth wedding anniversary, is under fire for getting a brand new car for his wife for this double celebration. This, however, was no ordinary car; it was a $200,000 Lamborghini. Although members of his church defended him, others criticized the extravagant gift. The pastor has defended this action multiple times. “Don’t confuse what I am with what I do — it wasn’t a pastor that bought the car, it was a husband that bought the car,” he vehemently contended. He then erroneously quoted Ephesians 5 that states husbands to love their wives. In the context of this passage, however, love is not about giving extravagant gifts, but about making sure that “she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). Being a pastor is a high calling, and I do not believe that one can separate himself from being a pastor, husband, father, son, etc. It is our fallen condition that causes us to misquote the Bible and twist truth in order to justify our actions. As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that Christ demonstrated his love for us by dying on the cross. Let us embrace this gift and freely give to those who are in need. Let us live in such a way where we do not need to defend our actions, but always be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15-16).

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