The Christmas Spirit, All Year Long

During the holiday season, the jolly and exciting holiday mood is often referred to as the Christmas spirit.  Some elements of that spirit include remembering Jesus Christ, the joy of giving, helping the needy, and spending time with family. The Bible does encourage all of us to remember Jesus Christ, to be liberal in giving, to help the needy, and to spend time with our families. So how can we do all these things all year long?

To honor and remember Jesus, you should study his example as a perfect, intelligent man. Also, meditate on the way Jesus displayed compassion, patience, and the courage to do what is right, and look for opportunities to imitate him in your own life.  “Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.” (1 Peter 2:21) When you remember Jesus Christ, think about his ransom sacrifice that gives obedient humans the opportunity to receive everlasting life. Also, consider what he is doing now, Jesus is ruling as a heavenly King.

“Practice giving,” said Jesus. (Luke 6:38) He did not limit gift-giving to a certain time of the year when people would be expected to give. Jesus urged his followers to make spontaneous gift-giving a practice, a way of life. “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) The essence of Paul’s counsel is that nothing is ever to be given ‘from compulsion,’ from a feeling that one is forced to give. Being “a cheerful giver” rules out the feeling of being obligated to give a specific item to a specific person at a specific time—the way Christmas gift-giving often turns out to be. “If the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12) God does not require Christians to go into debt to pay for expensive gifts. Rather, when a person gives ‘according to what he has,’ his gifts are not merely tolerable but “especially acceptable.”

“Do not hold back good from those to whom it is owing, when it happens to be in the power of your hand to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27) The poor, the hungry, and the afflicted do not suffer only at Christmastime. If you perceive that someone needs help and it is within “the power of your hand” to assist, why wait for a holiday to act? Your kindness and compassionate actions will be blessed.

‘Keep paying a due compensation to your parents and grandparents.’ (1 Timothy 5:4) To the extent possible, arrange regular visits with your family. If your relatives live far away, you can still communicate often. Why not write a letter, call them on the telephone, send an e-mail, or chat online?  Relatives only seen once a year often become strangers, especially to children.

– Watchtower 12/2012

As the holiday season comes to an end look for ways to manifest joy and love all year long.

Love Always,

April