This really is a great time of year, of course. Regardless of whether one is a practicing Christian or not, people in general have a greater tendency to appropriate the spirit of Christmas during the holiday season. Most are nicer to one another and more accommodating. Many live out the Golden Rule by visiting friends and relatives, engaging in quality fellowship and family time, smiling a little brighter, giving gifts, helping others, and loving one another.
In other words, we all generally do as the Lord Jesus taught us to do. Though it is not really His birthday, we celebrate it at this time and it makes all the difference.
After the holidays, however, most people go back to their regular lives of disobedience and indifference toward God. There is a quick return to doing things their way, living their way, sinning their way, demanding their way, hating their way, and forgetting all about the wonder of Christmas.
For most, this means Christmas is merely a time to briefly touch upon the reality of human existence and the answers and gifts each of us has for each other. It is a faux construct revealing the truth of how most of us wish it could be but will rarely be. It is a time to celebrate the mere idea of the Christmas message. It is a time when people doing good things is culturally legal, where one’s good heart blends with everyone’s and brings no personal disdain as a do-gooder or clueless nice guy. People set aside their prejudices and hatred because the pressure’s off. We get a lift from giving. Joy is allowed a place in our hearts. Those who rarely smile grin a little.
But it is all only temporary. The New Year will bring a return to the rat race and justifiable lying, cheating, and slander. Bad attitudes are only placed on hold during the Christmas season. Most people do not actually repent. Most people do not actually embrace the Lord and obey His teachings. As wonderful as it all is, Christmastime is often an aberration.
Why can’t we live out the spirit of Christmas all year long? Some of the reasons are as follows:
(1) It would no longer be a special once-a-year season.
(2) Too much work! (Decorating, shopping, entertaining, family—Yikes!)
(3) People cannot fake love for that long.
The real reason?
Most people refuse to make the giant leap toward real repentance and living a spiritually-disciplined lifestyle. Most people cannot conceive of possessing an inner joy all year long. Most people do not know the Lord Jesus and do not want to know Him. And this includes most “Christians.”
It is far easier to obey one’s will than His will.
It is far easier to be deceived than know the truth.
I recently stated on this site that most churches would never allow the Lord Jesus to be in charge of their operations. This also holds true for most of us who say we are Christians. But for those fellowship groups who would agree to let the Lord be the boss, let 2014 be the year we accomplish this at a higher and faster rate, and to a greater degree. Let real Christians do the same. Let us truly love one another, help each other, and see about one another. And let it last all year long.
My hope this Christmas is that it will continue being Christmas. Keep buying gifts and giving gifts. Keep entertaining and blessing others. Keep the wonder and the happiness and the love. Make your heavenly Father proud. Indeed, make Him cry tears of joy. Move His heart with your attention to His curriculum and course of personal conduct. Make Him pleased with your discipleship. Honor Him as your Lord and Savior who stopped at nothing to bring you abundant life. Love Him with all your heart and love one another as you love yourself.
Be blessed this Christmas. Be very, very blessed. Remember the One who made it possible. Thanks to all of you who have read my articles, commented on them, and passed them on to others. I especially want to thank those of you who have subscribed and allowed me to send out my “bothersome email updates.” You have all been a great blessing!
It is my belief that 2014 will be a pivotal year in many respects, but mostly as a year when an even greater number of real believers will be born into the kingdom, when many Christians will rededicate their lives, when many more solid groups, spiritual communities, and fellowships will be formed, and when the Lord’s people become even greater salt and light for such a time as this.
We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening, a time when the people of God will prove the love and power of God, when the Book of Acts comes to life, when real miracles will become more common and more known, and when real fellowship among all real believers takes place in a way it never has before.
It is impossible to lose when on the Lord’s side. Allow the wonder of Christmas to stay in your heart all year long. May we all be real and may we all keep loving.
And may we all have a very Merry Christmas.
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.