With Christmas fast approaching, people are now getting busy doing their holiday shopping for friends, family, and significant others. However, not everybody knows how to budget their money wisely. In fact, a lot of people get caught up in the shopping rush and find themselves losing control of their expenses.
World-renowned evangelist Billy Graham said in his column for the Tribune & Ledger News that concerns around Christmas shopping are actually a spiritual dilemma "because it deals with everything from the way we use our money, to what we think is really important in life."
"Is it wrong to want to pick up bargains as you shop for Christmas presents? No, not really; we all love a good bargain, and the Bible encourages us to be thrifty. But how often do you end up buying more than you intended to buy, or spending more than you intended to spend? And how often do you end up angry or frustrated or exhausted, because you've had to fight the crowds or spent too much time searching for one last present?" he questioned.
So the evangelist has some good advice for Christians who are about to do their Christmas shopping: "Take time to plan ahead." Graham said making lists is good, as well as writing out the budget and sticking to it. He suggested that people be thoughtful about their gifts. Instead of splurging on something that they can't afford in order to impress someone, Graham said they should figure out what that person can really use.
At the same time, he reminded Christians of the importance of rest. "Set aside time also for special events — a Christmas concert, a special ride to see the lights," he said. But most importantly, Graham said that the most important thing they can do is "to put Christ at the center of your Christmas — and your life"
As far as gifts are concerned, Graham earlier said that God already gave the best gift imaginable when He sent His only Son to die on the cross for the world's sins. "The infant Jesus is God's gift to a needy world. The child in the manger is the Christ who died for every one of us on the cross — who can forgive our sins, bring new life and new power over the violence, crime, and evils of our day," he said.