Feeling a bit pressured this month? With just 16 days left until Christmas, the roads aren’t the only place where rage can spoil your holiday cheer. Now, more than ever, your family, volunteers, and co-workers, will need an extra dose of grace to keep the Spirit of the season alive.
Keep focused on these biblical principles to avoid a Grinch-like attitude this month:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. Proverbs 15:1
What your mother said was correct. Sometimes it’s better to count to ten than to blurt out what’s on your mind in a heated moment. So when your Sunday school teachers ask you if they have to attend Saturday Christmas program rehearsals—better start counting, or come up with a response that leads to affirmation and understanding.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”. James 1:19
It’s hard work to listen! It’s been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. It takes twice as much effort to listen. Often conflict surfaces because a message was misunderstood, miscommunicated, or missed all together. When we listen with discernment, we hear the real message that needs our attention. Often the best response is to just listen some more. People will respect not getting their way—but they’ll resent not having their say.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
Isn’t this what Christmas is really all about? For God so loved…that he gave us his son. In the book, Simply Strategic Volunteers, Tony Morgan says, “We all need cheerleaders. We all need people who will encourage us to do the next right thing.” A genuine love for people helps us look past the mistakes to see the person Jesus sees inside. It changes our perspective. Love moves us from conflict to compassion.
Christmas preparations can turn anyone into a Grinch. Keep the wisdom of these scriptures on your heart and make this month one of celebration and joy.
*taken from the December, 2010 issue of Inspired newsletter. Subscribe today and get a whole year of great articles, tips, and ideas.
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