Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I pretty much begin decorating right after Halloween. Because of our traveling schedule, Christmas is usually the only holiday I decorate for. During this time, it looks like Christmas regurgitated all over my house. I have the 1960’s Christmas cartoon philosophy to decorating.
Romans 12:2 NLT “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
With the Christmas season upon us, the same old discussions of what is excess versus what is not enough, tend to begin to war in our minds as well as in the Christian community. Asking ourselves, are we missing the ‘real’ reason for the season by our rushing around in a fury of activity? Like Paul, I say, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, not the media nor your church peers.
I really hate how we tend to judge others, by what is either going on in our own lives or what is going on culturally in our society. The other night Chuck and I, after a very long day of work, went out to eat at a restaurant. Both of us had our cell phones out, checking our social media, e-mails, and just basically decompressing from our day. We were chatting about what we had seen on our Facebook pages, and I thought of how many times we judge others doing this very same thing. We are seeing them as not connecting, instead of what it was for us, our time to relax and reconnect with what was going on in our family’s lives.
Gal. 5:1 MSG. “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
Gal. 5:14 NLT. “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
I love what verse 14 says; for the ‘whole law’ can be summed up in this one command, love. Isn’t this what the season of Christmas is all about; God so loved us that he sent his son. And that son was sent not to condemn us but to save us. Isn’t this the very foundation for Christmas? We celebrate the birth of God’s Son into this world and how it changed the very fabric of time.
I have been meditating on Romans 12:2 lately. In that scripture, it tells us not to copy the behavior and customs of this world. What are the behavior and customs of this world? Jesus said to us that the world would know we are different because of our love for one another. What does that look like, practically, in your life? He also tells us that even the tax collectors, the dregs of society, love those who love them.
Our country is the most divided than I can ever remember it being. Now is our time as believers to stand up and love. Chuck and I have been married for 31 years. During that time, we both had had to choose to love the other, even when we were unlovable. Any parent will tell you that sometimes it is hard to love the child that may resent you or blame you for the pain and hurt they have experienced. You may love them, but being “in love” with them is a whole different experience.
Go on a search for love this Christmas season. Learn to love yourself again and allow God to help you to love others. So many people are in pain. Longing for someone to come along and make a difference in their lives. That difference just might be you.
Someone, somewhere just might be asking God to reach out to them, and God may be asking you to be his hand extended. Think of the one person right now that brings up the most difficult emotions…do you have their face in your mind? Now maybe you need to reach out to them? Or perhaps they need your prayers right now? This is how we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. By changing the way you think about a person or a circumstance changes the brain cells in your brain, it releases healing to you.
This is how our world will change. I love the scene in the movie Elf. They are trying to get Santa’s sleigh to fly, and they remember what Buddy the Elf said about singing Christmas carols and spreading cheer for all to hear. Christians have the power to spread Christmas cheer all year long because our Christmas cheer is about Christ and how he came to save us, and our world.
This Christmas season, you can change the very atmosphere around you by bringing the love of God to those around you. Not the judgment you believe God has for the world, but his love. Scripture tells us that love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Let us become different, showing love for others, and being the change you want to see around you.
The world is waiting for you.
By Selena Day
Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.queenliving.org http://facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday. Photographs courtesy of Selena Day.
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