In past posts, I have written about how each one of us needs to carry our grace cards with us. Along with carrying a grace card to use with others just as God gives us grace, I have written about the importance of laughing, sharing a smile and encouraging others. Now, that it is the Christmas season, it is even more important that we utilize these people skills as we are out doing our shopping, sitting in traffic and encountering others in our daily walk.
Today, I want to give you some thoughts to keep in mind as you go through not only your day but through the Christmas season and days beyond.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31 You are busy, you have deadlines and the person in front of you holding up the line with a question to the clerk is probably in the same situation as you. Before you become annoyed, think of how you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. Or, you are trying to put the puzzle pieces together of how and when you will see family. Again, put yourself in the other person’s shoes as to what their schedule is like, their obligations, and think of how you would want to be treated as planning takes place.
Practice acts of kindness as you go through the Christmas Season. Hebrews 13:16 tells us; “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Acts of kindness can be anything from shopping for a family who would not otherwise have Christmas to baking cookies for the neighbor next door. Doing good for others can also include simply holding a door open for someone when you are out, letting someone move over to the lane you are in while sitting in traffic, or if you are tall, help those of us who are vertically challenged and reach that one item needed that is on the top shelf. Acts of kindness can even go as far as buying a cup of coffee for the customer who is standing behind you in line.
Encouraging one another is another instruction that we are given through God’s Word. Seeking to encourage others is most important during this Christmastide. There are people who are lonely during this time of year. Invite them over for a meal, give them Christ-like love and let them know that they are not forgotten. Encourage others by cards and phone calls. Christmas cards to shut-ins are a wonderful way to encourage others. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Along with treating others as you would want to be treated, acts of kindness and encouraging others, realize that there are going to be some things you have no control over. No matter how much a person thinks they can control someone or a situation, they are actually handicapped in this area. God is in control. When faced with such situations or people, say this prayer to yourself;
“God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
As I have shared from time to time, life is going to happen. At Christmas, when life happens, it seems to be more major than if it happened on another day or month. Look for the humor and blessings that are in the situation because they are there. Roll, go and deal with it and know God is in control and He will supply what is needed.
Smile. When you are out and about no matter how overwhelmed or tired you may be just smile. A smile shows God’s grace at work. It lifts the spirits of those you encounter. If you smile, you will see all that is around you in a more positive light.
Last but certainly not least, keep in mind the reason for the season, Jesus Christ. Start out your day with a prayer of thanksgiving thanking God for waking you up once again. Prepare your heart to encounter Christ and see Him at work as you go throughout the day. Allow others to see Christ in you. After all, you may be the only witness of Christ’s message they see. It may be you that God uses to prepare the hearts of others to receive His one and only Son. “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.” Mark 1:3
There are only a few things to keep in mind as you dash through all the Christmas festivities. The list could go on and that is where I would like to hear from you. What is something you think is important to keep in mind during this season of celebrating Christ’s birth?