Tis the season to be… I’m not even sure anymore. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, right? But for some us this isn’t true. There was only supposed to be one Ebenezer Scrooge and no sequel, but there are so many of us who are not doing well during this time of the year. Ebenezer had a few spooky encounters that finally made him come to his senses and really appreciate life. While I am not hoping you get visited by the ghost of Christmas present, I do hope I can encourage you today. So, (at the risk of mixing my Christmas metaphors) for those of us who feel a little like the Grinch in Whoville, here are three tips to make this special time of the year count! The first one is to try not to compare your life with others; secondly, take the focus off of yourself and put it onto others, and lastly, seek the Lord.
Handle Social Media with Care
I have truly seen some miracles happen through the avenue of social media. Families reconnected, relationships started, and amazing acts of human kindness. But there is a dark side to social media and one that doesn’t get discussed enough: comparison. Yes, Dorothy’s dress for her holiday party was way more extravagant than yours. Yes, Terrance is somehow staying in amazing shape during this season while you’re just packing it on. Yes, the Johnson family looks way more put together than yours. Yes, their idea for cute matching Christmas sweaters is something you wish you thought of first. You see where this is going? There’s a reason Paul says that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). When we measure ourselves against something else, the end result usually has us feeling defeated. This happened with the disciples when Jesus laid out the plan for Peter and in turn. Peter responded with, “But what about John? Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” As you navigate through the blessings and challenges of social media, try not to compare your life to others; focus on God’s plan for your life.
Remember Those Who Are Forgotten
There really is nothing like taking the focus off of ourselves and putting it in someone to help us gain perspective. The holiday season is a great time to work on forgiving those who need to be forgiven and connecting with those who aren’t connected. In today’s society, the numbers for depression, anxiety and suicide during this time of year are staggering. We might just be that beacon of hope for someone who needs it. Who is a person that comes to your mind immediately that you know could use some encouragement, a text or even a phone call? Our faith is not just for us to be saved and to spend eternity with the Lord, but to help others in the same manner. Look at how Jesus encouraged Peter in Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Who can you be praying for today? I love that immediately after Peter had turned again, the next step was to strengthen others. You can make this year different by being a difference-maker for someone else.
Want to really end this year on a high note? Simple: Seek the Lord. We have less than a month left before 2019 and you know what that means – New Year’s resolutions! But imagine if we ended this year strong? If we were to take an honest assessment of how much time we spend on a daily basis trying to seek God, for the most part it would be less than we should. But no worries! If you’re reading this, then there’s still time and there’s no better time than the present. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. Closeout this year strong! Do something you have never done for the Lord, like fast for a few days, or memorize your favorite passage and share the good news with one person every day for the rest of 2018. Pray and ask God to help you figure out what’s the best way for you to seek Him today.
‘Tis the Season to End Well
With this year coming to an end, there’s no need to compare your situation to others; God has you where He wants you to be. If there is someone who you should reach out to, they may need you right now more than you know. Lastly, seek the Lord! God is looking for people to worship Him wholeheartedly because this is a season to pause and to really consider Jesus. ‘Tis the season to be Jolly, my friends. Merry Christmas!