By Vicki Heath
CHARLESTON, SC (BP) — Worry, hurry, traffic, presents, shopping, tree, food, kids, money, food, family, parties, food, and more food. Are you getting panicked? Well, don’t!
God never intended the celebration of the birth of His Son to be anything but joyful. The culture’s craziness at Christmastime does not have to consume us. We can experience the true meaning of Christmas with a happy heart and attitude. For example:
1. Set food boundaries.
The average American will gain 3 to 7 pounds over the holidays. This might be the average, but Christians shouldn’t be average. We don’t have to participate in this statistic.
Boundaries are just lines we decide not to cross for our own well-being. There is power in the pen so I have written out my boundaries for the holidays:
a. I will enjoy my favorite foods but I will not take large portions of anything.
b. I will not go back for seconds.
c. If I get off track, I will not allow the enemy to shame me into abandoning my boundaries.
2. Seek out the Wonderful Counselor.
Jesus, as the Wonderful Counselor, said in Matthew 6 not to worry over money, clothes, or your house. If He can take care of the birds in the air and the flowers of the field, He can surely take care of us.
Let’s not allow guilt or shame or television commercials to dictate how much we should spend on Christmas. Instead, let’s seek the guidance of the Wonderful Counselor and pray over each person that He will lead us to meaningful and creative gifts.
3. Stop and smell the mistletoe.
Take time to slow down and enjoy all the sights and smells of the season. The merriment will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Were you so busy last year that you cannot recall Christmas? Leave time to enjoy the music, decorations, and the special shows. Make the decision now. No over-scheduling this year. Let’s not rush it but enjoy it.
4. Ask for peace from the Prince.
Nobody does peace like Jesus, for He Himself is our peace.
If all you want for Christmas is some peace and quiet, it’s not a bad thing for which to ask. God’s peace can reign over our homes during the season if we seek the Prince.
5. Revisit the incarnation every day.
The Bible foretells and tells the beautiful story of the Messiah’s birth. It has been the inspiration of carols and poetry for centuries.
Read these six passages of Scripture starting today. Take your time and spend several days on each passage. Meditate, pray through, and visit again the miracle of the incarnation.
a. The Prophecy – Isaiah 9:1-7
b. The Fulfillment – John 1:1-14
c. The Mom – Luke 1:26-56
d. The Birth – Luke 2:1-7
e. The Visitors – Luke 2:8-20, Matthew 2:1-12
f. The Long Expected – Luke 2:22-35
Keeping it real, keeping it simple, and keeping it focused on the holy infant is my plan. There may not have been room in the inn but I’m making sure there is room in my heart.
Vicki Heath is the national director of First Place 4 Health, a wellness program for balance in spirit, soul, mind, and body based on a giving Christ first place. The FP4H movement began in 1981 as a ministry of Houston’s First Baptist Church and became a separate nonprofit ministry in 2010. FP4H counts groups in 12,000-plus churches, fitness centers, offices and homes, with more than 500,000 participants.