Days before Thanksgiving, some of my family members were asking for Christmas lists… and I was really caught off guard. I hadn’t even made a list or thought about what I wanted. I was not prepared.
In result of that, I rushed to come up of things that I wanted. I looked all over the Internet and Instagram and Pinterest, searching for things that would bring me joy. I came up with a few things, but I was struggling to come up more than a few. I felt some frustration because I wanted to find things that would make me happy and be what I needed to make my life better.
It wasn’t until I calmed down that I realised how selfish I was being. I was focusing on what I wanted, what the perfect gifts for me were , and what I was getting, rather than the true spirit of the holiday. I could have spent my time differently, instead of spending so much of it looking for gift ideas. Also, I wasn’t putting God first or being others oriented.
I think a lot of times during Christmas (or really any holiday), we can become very self centred. We may do things to get attention from others or for our own gain or to show that our lives are put together. Social media, for example, is a way that we may show our lives are “perfect”. We may do crazy things or plan events so that we can post it on Instagram.
OR we may focus on all the things that we have to do, like all the events and cooking and shopping, etc. We may try to get everything done so that we can have ‘the best Christmas’ or feel like we’ve done a good job, when in fact, it can get really frustrating if we don’t do everything we want. I know I’ve looked on Pinterest for ‘winter bucket lists’ and there’s all these great ideas of things to do… but, there’s the pressure to do everything so that you don’t ‘miss out’.
But what is Christmas really about? And how do you show that? What are your motives behind the things you do?
I know people say too ‘keep Christ in Christmas’ and that ‘it’s not about the presents’, but do you really live that out around the holidays? Do your actions show that?
Something God’s been teaching me recently is to value Him more than anything and to place my hope in Him. We can often times get caught up in the world and put our hope in things that are changing, like how popular we are, how pretty we are, how accepted we are by others, etc. BUT God wants us to put our hope in Him– who is constant and never-changing. And it’ll save us in the long run when life is difficult. (Matthew 7:24-27)
We have to have a heavenly perspective and understand that how we choose to live our days matters: whether we’re doing it for God or for ourselves. God calls us to live out the Great Commission and tell others about Him. We need to be mindful of that and know that the days we have on this earth are short.
I love Paul’s perspective when he writes in Philippians 3:8, ‘I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
Nothing to Him is more important than God. Not the material possessions or his social status or how others view him. He simply priorities God and is living his life for Him alone.
So how are you going to show Christ in your holiday season? How are you going to make the most of it by putting Christ first?
I challenge you to truly make this holiday season less about yourself and more about God and others. Be listening for the Holy Spirit and for the work that God wants to do through you.
About the Author of this Post
Hey there! My name is Ainsley. I’m 17 years old and have lived in Florida my entire life. Some of my favourite things are writing, playing my guitar and hanging out with friends. BUT the most important thing in my life is Jesus and bringing glory to Him. One of my favourite Bible verses is Romans 8:28 which talks about God working out everything for the good of those who love Him. That something I try to remember in life during the different trials and situations I go through and I hope to inspire others to cling to that as well. Follow Ainsley on Instagram or her blog.
Featured Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels