Life Notes Financial Health article by Brent J. Welch, CFP®, ChFC, CRPS®, CLU, AIF®
My friend Jane told me recently, “My brother-in-law just died of cancer and we celebrated his life in Florida where my sister lives. Just after the funeral, my sister rented a house on the beach where we stayed to reflect on the life of my brother-in-law. The next morning we met on the beach before breakfast and as I walked along the Atlantic Ocean, I read a saying that was written in the sand. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”” ¹
Jane was struck at the message and felt that it was written just for her and her family. She asked a fisherman nearby if he saw anyone write this message. The fisherman said that he hadn’t seen anyone write that message. The nearby hotel operator said that he had never saw or heard of anyone writing a message like that before. In tears, Jane and her sister felt that this special message was for them.
They knew that they were not alone and that God was with them. They knew that God loved them. They experienced His presence in a very special way. Both Jane and her sister will count this miraculous message as one of the most profoundly spiritual experiences of their lives.
Christmas is a time where we remember the birth of Christ and we celebrate that occasion by exchanging gifts with one another. This gift giving flows from love for one another. We think about our loved ones when we make or go out and buy a present for them. We keep our loved one in mind as we wrap our present for them and write a name tag for them. When we carefully place their gift beneath the Christmas tree, we can reflect on our love for our family member or friend.
Apparently, the world was started with love and giving. “For God so loved the world that He gave…” Doesn’t all sincere giving flow from a heart of love? This Christmas season, I hope that love motivates your giving like never before.
When you make a gift of money or investments to a qualified charity, you may receive an immediate tax deduction and sanitize that appreciated asset from capital gains tax. Some gifting strategies also pay you a guaranteed lifetime income. Talk to your tax professional, attorney and Certified Financial Planning® practitioner for gifting strategies that may fit your situation. You may experience that, “It is in giving that (you) receive; it is in pardoning that (you) are pardoned; and it is in dying that (you) are born into eternal life.”²
¹John 3:16, from The Bible NLT
²Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi