Am I wrong to question people's motives for their goodwill?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: The Christmas season has always been described as being a time of "goodwill" -- a time for people to reach out to others. I do volunteer work through organizations that provide meals and gifts to others. But when I begin seeing "Christ" taken out of Christmas, it leaves me empty inside. Am I wrong to question people's motives for their goodwill? -- G.A.

A: Christmas means something far deeper than human goodwill. There would no goodwill at all if the birth of the Savior had not happened. Over 2,000 years ago, on a night the world has come to call Christmas, a young Jewish maiden went through the experience countless mothers had before her, and would since: She brought forth a child. But this was no ordinary child. This was the unique Son of God, sent from Heaven to save us from our sins (Matthew 2:11).

Christmas should be a day when our minds go back to Bethlehem, beyond the noise of our materialistic world, to hear the soft flutter of angels' wings. We see the tenderness of a mother with her first-born Son; and the angel said that His name is Jesus. The prophet Isaiah had announced this very good news centuries beforehand and declared, "For unto us a Child is born ... His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The angel announced, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14).


This is the true definition of "goodwill." That Christ Jesus extended His goodwill toward us. We are not responsible for why others do "goodwill," but let's be faithful to announce this wonderful Good News to all mankind this Christmas season when we reach out to do the will of the One who exemplified it first.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)




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