Christmas – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s also the most stressful, busy, expensive, and exhausting time of the year.
You could probably add your own adjectives, but you get the point. The holidays can be great, but they can also be overwhelming. And when things get overwhelming, tempers grow short.
It might be over something small, a little nuisance that tips you over the edge, or it might be over something bigger. Maybe the thing that makes you snap in frustration is only the tip of the iceberg, a symptom of a deep-seated conflict or a long-standing feud. Not only can the holidays be overwhelming, but they can also put us in close contact with people we might not want to be around – estranged siblings, parents who were never really present, cousins you no longer hear from. Being around them might feel like an inconvenience at best, perhaps like punishment at worst. But maybe that’s not how God wants you to see it. Maybe he’s giving you a gift – a chance to apologize and a chance to forgive.
Whomever the person, whatever the situation, remember: the holidays can be tough on everyone. So, during this season, when so many of us are quick to anger, please remember to be just as quick to apologize. And if someone loses their temper with you, especially if they apologize afterward, please be quick to forgive as well. After all, we are celebrating the greatest gift of all – the gift of Jesus Christ, who came so that we may all be forgiven.
So, let’s share the gifts of repentance and forgiveness this Christmas, both for the sake of others and for our own sakes. They’re gifts that keep on giving.
Do you have a tendency to lose your temper around the holidays? Is there anything that you know tends to make you snap? Is there anyone you’re not looking forward to seeing?
With whom might you share the gift of repentance, and to whom might you give the gift of forgiveness?
Make a list of things that tend to make you short-tempered, especially around the holidays, so that you can look out for what might trigger anger in you. If you’ve already lost your temper with someone because of one of these triggers and haven’t apologized, go do so.
Write down one person to whom you can give the gift of an apology this Christmas and another person to whom you can give the gift of forgiveness.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the holidays. Thank you for the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones, and to be gracious toward one another. Please give us patience and help us stay calm during the stress that this season sometimes brings. And if we do lose our temper, gently remind us to apologize, and give us the humility to repent. Most importantly, thank you for the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ. In his name we pray, amen.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton Lechner is a college grad currently working at her local library. In her spare time, she volunteers as an ESL teacher and freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?
We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!