Because Life Is More than Money

     Hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration. And Happy 2015! Thank you for your friendship and thank you for the banking you do with Guaranty. We appreciate you and your business with us. May God allow us to mutually prosper in 2015.

     If we do prosper, I pray we will see past the blessings to the Lord who gives and allows the blessings we receive. If we have a hard year, I pray we will live out the attitude God gives to our hearts and minds to be content anyway.

     Having seven grandchildren who are seven years and younger we witness during Christmas celebrations the full range of attitudes at gifts opening from genuine thankfulness to a fit of dissatisfaction. We adults can be the same way only more discrete. How can we be more content and less contentious about what we get and don’t get? About what we have and don’t have?

     One helpful Bible lesson on this challenge for me has been to focus on the giver not the gift. Focus on the giver not the gift reads elementary maybe, but it is not easy to translate from typed and read words to everyday behavior and attitude. I’ve tried to be more conscious of this and am realizing more and more how much more attention I give to the gifts I receive or do not receive and to the blessings I have or do not have.

     So I have thought through how I got what I have. Starting with God, He is without a single need. He is self-sufficient. But, He decided to design and create people breathing life into them. He didn’t need me, but using my willing parents, He caused me to be. After He caused me to be, He didn’t have to provide me food, clothing and shelter, but He did by first using my parents and then others. Then He allowed me friends, education, job, wife, children and grandchildren. None of this do I deserve. God just decided to give.

     He, though, did not just give because He had the power and resources and arbitrarily used them. Rather, He did it out of love. How do I know that? The Bible reads that way AND He gave His Son to bail me out of the eternal prison I was in for not paying my sin-debt to Him. He has done the same for you. That’s how I know that He really loves you and me!

     And that is why He gives! He gives out of love for us. Whenever I remember that truth, I am more likely to focus on Him than on His gifts and blessings. God wants our attention on Him. Not because He is a show-off, but because He is concerned for our well-being. And our well-being is well when we are focused on Him, not on what we have and do not have.

     Gifts and blessings do not make for peaceful hearts or contented minds. Rather, if we focus on them it will make us less peaceful and contented.

     So I pray you and me a 2015 in which we spend increasing attention to the Giver and givers of our gifts and blessings and less on the gifts and blessings.

     Have a wonderful 2015!

                                                           Doug Johnson