Ten Ways To Completely Miss the Point of Christmas
Every year someone says it. Perhaps you have as well: 'Christmas was just so hectic. I'm wiped out.'
This is sad. It is common however in our culture because the gods of consumerism, materialism, busyness and people pleasing have in many ways taken the focus off Christ.
Being spiritually refreshed during this season is the beautiful idea that we Christians often find difficult to actually experience because we are more shaped by culture than we realize. No one wants to wake up on December 26th saying, 'next year I'll do Christmas right. Things got out of control this year.'
So, to avoid that, I'll share 10 sure fire ways to Miss Christ in Christmas and have a hectic, unholy season.
Hint: if you do the opposite, you may well find yourself very blessed:
1) Don't attend and participate in corporate worship. We are saved into commmunity. We need to study and worship together. Neglecting this is a sure fire way to slide into cultural Christmas.
2) Don't make time for daily personal worship and study. The more we are in the Word of God and in prayer, the more the Word and Spirit shape our hearts and transform our minds. We want to see and think clearly in this season. It is so easy for us to get caught up in focusing on the wrong things in this life. Be intentional here!
3) Don't take time to reflect on the incredible gift of God's Son. This is what we are supposed to be reflecting on. God demonstrating immeasurable love to us in the incredible gift of His Son, who came to die for us that we might live with Him.
4) Don't meditate on the miracle of the Incarnation. God the Son leaving the glory and splendor of heaven to take on flesh and dwell among us, "God With Us," is the most incredible event in human history. Ignore this and it's easy to lose all perspective.
5) Say 'yes' to everything. There will never be a shortage of invitations to parties and gatherings and outings, etc., during this time of year. Everyone means well in asking you-but if you say 'yes' to everything you'll end up exhausted and spending money you may not have and so harried and hurried you miss the child in the manger. It is okay to say 'no' to some things. Do it.
6) Spend more than you have. 'Oh it's Christmas and we want a special gift. We'll charge it and pay it off.' Question: Do you really want to be paying for that Christmas gift in April and as you are paying off that gift, how will that debt negatively impact other areas of your life? Pray, plan, make a budget, stick to it and enjoy December 26th. Christmas isn't about racking up debt.
7) Related: Spend everything on yourself. By this, 'don't do something for the less fortunate.' There are so many good ministries and agencies helping out people in time of need this year. A small contribution to them may mean one or two less gifts under your tree but then again, it may well be a huge blessing to someone in need. I would also commend something to else to you in this area: give something anonymously to someone in need who has no way of paying you back or even saying 'thank you.' Bless.
8) Don't Give to Missions This Christmas. Every year during the Christmas season there is a drive to raise support for our international missionaries. They are depending on this offering that comes once a year for their year ahead. With the largest missions' agency in the world, we have many missionaries taking the Gospel to unreached peoples all over the world. Shouldn't Christmas involve us helping those share the Greatest News Ever with those who have never heard?
9) Related: Withhold or cut back on generosity in giving to the Lord so more can be spent on the self. Al we have is a gift from God. Giving to Him is an act of worship. Yes, withholding gifts negatively impacts the church, but even more so, it negatively impacts the one withholding. Life is about worship for the Christian. As we continue to give, it not only helps us stay focused on being grateful for what God has given us, it also fends off the cultural, materialistic greed monster.
10) Keep the Good News to Yourself. This is a season when more people who don't attend church are most open. Most people we know do not have a personal relationship with Christ. They do not know the true meaning of Christmas, the Great News! What a wonderful time to share and invite that all may know!
I pray we all have a wonderful Christmas in which we are spiritually refreshed and refocused as we approach a new year. Avoiding these 10 things will go a long way toward helping with that.
Grace to You,