Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Redefining the Perfect Holiday

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ”
(Colossians 2:8).

Have you ever thought about how today’s culture portrays the perfect holiday?  Magazines and movies depict a perfectly decorated house inside and out, perfectly wrapped gifts under the perfectly decorated tree, perfect gourmet meals with not a dirty dish in sight, and perfectly shaped bodies wearing the perfect seasonal outfits while attending perfectly enjoyable social events and family gatherings.

I find these hollow, deceptive, and unrealistic ideas of the holidays tempting.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying the traditional trimmings of the season, but when I become depressed because my pain or circumstances keep me from having or doing all that the world says I should, I lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young says:

“Remember that you live in a fallen world: an abnormal world tainted by sin.  Much frustration and failure result from your seeking perfection in this life.  There is nothing perfect in this world except Me.  I have planted longing for perfection in ever human heart.  This is a good desire which I alone can fulfill.  But most people seek this fulfillment in other people and earthly pleasures or achievements.  Let Me fulfill your yearning for perfection.”

The only perfection I should be seeking is to be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48) – a goal I will never reach until heaven, but one that I should be striving for out of love and obedience to Christ for all He has done for me.

The truly perfect holiday doesn’t require perfect decorations, fancy food, beautiful clothing, or a full social calendar.  All it needs is a heart that rejoices in the significance of Christ’s birth, thanking and praising Him for His blessings, and showing His love to others - all of which can be done with imperfect health.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I pray that my celebration of Christmas will not be based on worldly philosophies or perfections, but rather on Your birth and what that means to me, both now and eternally.  Let that be enough – because it is.  Amen.

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