It’s that time of year! Lots of hustle and bustle and busyness and family and company and being together and a million things to do! It’s a time when we tend to be stretched to our limits in many ways… and this can make us less tolerant and kind and loving than we should be! This is supposed to be the time of joy and love and thanksgiving and …”peace on earth”. What happens? How does this special and holy time of the year get all turned around and to sometimes bring out the worst in us?
Do you ever feel more stressed than blessed during this time of year? I think we all probably do. Unfortunately, most of us are not going to get rid of our holiday stressors because that would probably mean taking a long vacation by ourselves over the holidays.
There are a myriad of things that “pluck on our last nerve” this time of year. Today I want to talk about just one. PEOPLE. The people we love and who we are with during Thanksgiving and Christmas can bring holiday angst into our lives.
We can’t control what others do but we certainly can control our own selves and our interactions with those around us.
It’s important to set up realistic expectations! No one and no holiday is perfect! It’s important to remember that we should not be striving for perfection but connection! Connections to love better, build stronger relationships and lifelong memories!
We need to do several things to safeguard ourselves so that our spiritual tank is full and we start each day with a right and godly attitude.
Here are just a couple suggestions:
Start each morning in the word of God.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:8 and 9
Let’s fill our hearts and minds with God’s most honorable, pure, lovely ,commendable, excellent, worthy of praise things and put them into action!
Make prayer an on-going part of of our day.
The effective prayer of a righteous man prevails much. James 5:16
Spend time praying for situations that come up. Ask God to help you love better and be filled with His peace and joy! Pray for everyone that you will be in contact with. Pray for good and God’s blessings for them. Make prayer an ongoing part of every day!
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy may be full. John 16:24
Ask for what you need to love other in Jesus’ name. He has the authority, power and the will to make you more and more like Him!
Guard you heart and your mouth!
For the good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasures that are stored in his heart, and the evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil in his heart: for the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:45
Our mouths can really get us into trouble! But what we say is really a heart matter. A matter of what fills our mind and intellect.
Let’s recognize that what is in our heart will come out of our mouths! So we need to explore our hearts. Hugging a grudge, counting past hurts and wrongs can poison us towards others. We need to ask God to forgive our unforgiveness and to heal us. And then let any evil in our hearts die right there!
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the doors of my lips. Ps 141:3
Use your filter!!!! I’m shocked at what people feel they can say! Saying what’s on our minds is a sign of immaturity and lack of self control. We need to be mature enough to not say what will make us feel better at that moment but will be our shame later on!
It takes two to argue. Back away!
Be completely humble, and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph 4:2
Don’t let pride get you into an argument. Love is love in spite of others!
I pray that your holiday season be blessed with God’s most wonderful blessings. And that the Author of Christmas, Jesus our Lord, fill you will true love, peace and great joy!
This holiday season give your family and friends a gift that is priceless…LOVE!
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