How to Not Get Caught Up in Materialism During the Holidays
Written by Christi Given | December 7, 2017
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It’s that time of year when we are in the hustle of the holidays. I wanted to write about being cautious to not get so caught up in the holidays and the carnality of the rushing around and the shopping that we forget what the holidays are all about. From holiday dinners to decorating, holiday parties and church events, we can become so busy that we forget what the whole meaning of Christmas is about.
We must remember to slow down, to enjoy the present moment and to walk with God. It’s not easy when we have a long to-do list, school deadlines, work demands and family affairs to attend. We need to get into God’s presence and let His overflowing spirit pour out to others around us. We need a reminder to love our neighbors as ourselves, amen?
Sometimes I feel like I get so busy trying to do ministry, I can forget my relationships and I feel like I’m juggling. I have been gently reminded in this season that family and friends are the most important next to God. We must honor God and love people around us. Just like the Bible verse says in Corinthians, we can have all the spiritual gifts and talents, but if we don’t have love, it’s all meaningless.
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
I challenge you to serve one person a day and love them how you would want to be treated. I challenge us as a community online to either pray for someone, bake, write a letter or give your time to someone in need or someone who needs to be served. I challenge us all to bless those around us even if they are not the most pleasant to be around or even if it’s an inconvenience. The holidays are all about giving, not getting.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Let us remember what Christ-mas is all about. God GAVE His one and only son for the world. God gave us His son sacrificially so that we could be in relationship with Him. God died and rose again for us so we could live through Jesus Christ. Wow, God got off His throne, humbled Himself and took on the appearance of man through the Son to communicate with us (John 3:16-17).
I pray we see the value of God coming humbly as a child, growing into a young man to be persecuted and mocked and to hang on a tree so that we could live eternally. God’s love for us is so deep and wide, we cannot fathom the capacity in which He loves us. God cares so much for each and every person. God leaves the one out of the 99; He goes for the prodigal—for the sinner, not the saint. God wants us to bless and pursue those who don’t know Him intimately.
I pray our holidays are not centered on the busyness of life, but rather centered around Christ’s selfless, sacrificial love. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and to help you to impact others around you. In our weak flesh we cannot do this, but with Christ and the power of God working in and through us we can be the difference the world needs to see.
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:4)
The church is the body of Christ, with Him being the head. The church is not a building, but rather we are the hands and feet of the Lord. Let us embody the one who loves us unconditionally, and let us remember that we were once in darkness before we came into the knowledge of the light of life through Yeshua (Jesus Christ, the Messiah).
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:24-25)
May God bless you more than you can imagine through the gift of giving and the acts of love. I pray we are unified as the church without denominations or divisions, but through love that will never, ever fail. Let us be aware of those around us and not miss the moments and opportunities to share Jesus with people, amen?
PI Girls, will you take the challenge of loving someone once a day and doing a selfless act, at least through the end of 2017?
Comment below if you have any ideas on ways to bless others and how you avoid being caught up in the season.