Updated: Aug 10, 2021
CHRISTMAS FORGIVENESS SERIES
Christmas time generally means catching up with family. It could mean organising extended family, trying to work out who goes where and on what days. It can be a season when it’s all too much. It may be a difficult time or a sad time. Being alone or being separated.
My Facebook account recently threw up some previous Christmas days over the past four or five years. It caught my attention because for some of those years my loved ones were with us or not with us. This Christmas my son and daughter and her family will not be with us; all for good reasons. But I still felt my heart lurch as I looked at the previous ones when we were together and then others when we were not.
What will your Christmas season be like this year? This time can certainly be opportunities for misunderstandings, grudges and even unforgiveness. So why don’t you make this Christmas an opportunity for forgiveness? Last week we looked at three things that create forgiveness which include: stopping negative thinking or ruminating; standing in others’ shoes which is having empathy and finally wish them well which could translate to love your enemies.
‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’ Matthew 5:44 NKJV
Love! That is really what Christmas is about. When love came down in flesh and blood to show us how to live, follow God the Father and the way to heaven in the person of Jesus. You and I do have free will and we can go our own way (which may mean being the judge and jury) but the best way for each of us, individually, is His way. To love. And that includes to forgive, even the seemingly unforgivable.
Why do it His way? Well, if you live this Christmas holding grudges against others, you are the one being held hostage, not others. Don’t allow abuse, wrongs done against you and difficulties to weigh you down because then you’re the one with the weight on your shoulders.
Forgiveness this Christmas can be a decision. It is a process that can take time particularly when there’s been betrayal but remember God is the judge. Jesus came to set you free. Emanuel means God with us, in other words Jesus is with you to help you forgive and get yourself off the hook. As Jesus has forgiven you, He can fill up that pool or well of forgiveness in you, to flow outwards to others.
Make this Christmas different. Let others off the hook and let God be the judge. Then and only then, can you really enjoy this beautiful season with a clean slate, knowing that you are doing the right thing and God will sort out the rest.
Merry Christmas and have a safe and Happy New Year.
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