Don’t Drink the Poison
Thanksgiving seems like it was years ago and now we are entering the Christmas season. There is one thing I want to encourage each of you to do this season. Don’t drink the poison! What am I talking about? I’m talking about getting so caught up in the doing, you forget Christmas is a season of remembrance and personal reflection of an incredible gift given to each of us, in love.
It is easy to fall into the trap of having the “perfect” Christmas. We need the perfect tree, the perfect decorations, the perfect presents, the perfect baked cookies and the list goes on. Meanwhile, we are exhausted! It looks great on TV, but it isn’t real life. The world will try to sell you anything to deter you from the true focus of Christmas. Every retail company sells it well with heartfelt commercials and touching slogans. They want you to believe you will be less of a person if you do not do everything “perfect.”
Here are three signs you may be drinking the poison:
Are little things or little ones getting on your nerves? Do you find yourself getting irritated at your husband when he says, “Good Morning?” Are you finding it difficult to wake up in the morning with a cheerful attitude? If so, you are probably exhausted. It seems one of the first things to go when things get busy is our quiet time with God. Trust me, you can’t afford to go rushing into the day without putting on the armor of God. Instead, make a goal to go to bed an hour earlier, so you can wake fresh in the morning and not be tempted to push the snooze button a few extra times. The important thing to remember is to use your time wisely. This means if you have to put your phone on vibrate, log off the computer or turn the television off in order to accomplish some daily goals, then do it. The trade-off of spending time with God is the best prescription you can give your soul.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you feel like if you get asked to do one more thing you are going to blow up? There are programs at school, neighborhood get together, work parties, church activities and the list goes on. Take a breath. Get out your calendar and block out dates to protect your schedule. Of course, we want to go to every party and join in every festivity, but it is okay to just say, “I appreciate the offer, but no thanks.” Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. I know in the past I have felt the need to be nice to everyone, but myself. In doing so, I have created and placed this pressure on myself and my family and everyone ended up miserable. Sit down with your family and decide which events you wish to attend. Whether you are single or married, don’t let others’ expectations get in the way of your own well-being. Now, my husband and I choose one event per weekend, which gives me the ability to keep healthy boundaries and a better attitude during this season.
Are you experiencing temporary blindness? Are your eyes glazed over from looking at sale flyers, computer screens and TV screens? Are you on a manhunt for that one “perfect” gift? Our focus can become so intense on the world’s view of a “perfect” Christmas we lose sight of what God’s view of Christmas is. Christmas is about remembering what took place on the holiest of nights, the birth of our Savior and the gift of redemption for all of us. There wasn’t a feast, Christmas cookies or even a Christmas tree. It was about God’s presence coming to earth. We shouldn’t make Christmas about finding and buying the perfect gift because the perfect gift can’t be purchased. Christmas is about God giving this imperfect world, the perfect gift of Jesus. The world has been trying to counterfeit Christmas ever since, by drawing our attention away from the real meaning of Christmas.
This season the world will try to get you to drink the poison, so you will be filled with anger, bitterness, frustration, regret, guilt, anxiety, shame, hatred, materialism and self. We are responsible for what we drink. What others see us drinking can often poison their hearts and they too can pick up the cup. Take some time to drink the antidote and read the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-11. Rest, refresh and renew. If we want to truly honor God this season, let people see Christ in our actions and deeds, but most of all let us reflect the gift of His love.