Do You Hate Christmas?

In the last few days I have stumbled across numerous facebook statuses from people who don’t seem too excited about the fact that it’s Christmas. They’d just as soon be at work, like any other normal day, and avoid the whole season. As I saw these statuses, I was reminded of my own past experiences with Christmas and I began to ponder the source of my own past sadness during this time. Here are a few reasons I think people get sad at Christmastime:

1) Unmet Expectations:  In a world of commercialism, a standard has been set and whether we admit it or not, we are continually comparing ourselves to this standard. We look at what other people get for Christmas gifts, we look at how their family gets together to celebrate, we look at what others are buying for their kids/friends/family, we look at what others are wearing to the Christmas parties, single people look at those who are married and feel alone, married folks w/families look at single people and wish they could be so carefree & spontaneous… the list goes on.  We get caught up in the WRONG THINGS!

2) A Deep Emptiness:  While we can make everything look great on the outside, we all know what it’s like to feel a “void” inside, like something is missing. And we all know what it’s like to try and fill it, only to find temporary relief which soon fades.  While this correlates well with the unmet expectations above, we have to take a minute to see what it is we are really expecting. After all… for an expectation to be UNMET, we must recognize that something is missing and then figure out just what WILL meet it. Have you ever tried to decide where to go out to eat, and you can’t decide what you want but you know what you don’t want? Well this is sort of the same. When we have that deep yearning for a need within us to be met, we must stop and ask “What am I expecting? What really would bring the satisfaction I am looking for?” 

3) Emotions: One thing is for sure, God gave us emotions. They are indicators of things going on deeper within. The problem with the world and with many Christians is that they allow their emotions to lead them.  Remember, they were only meant to be INDICATORS of what was going on inside, but they were never intended to be in charge. So as I think about emotions and Christmastime, I immediately think about anxiety regarding finances, buying things on a whim because it “feels good,” comparing ourselves to others as stated above and feeling “less than” or simply being frustrated by the process. If we allow these emotions to be in charge, they will surely bring us down. We will feel a constant tugging deep within even when we put on a good front. This is the indicator that something is wrong. When we say “I hate Christmas” we are really saying “I hate the way I feel at Christmastime.” Another thing that always stirred my emotions was Christmas Carols. I recall year after year I could barely stand to sing or hear them because it would stir my emotions and make me cry. I never understood that, but now I do and I’ll explain it at the end of this post.

4) Unmet Needs: The truth of the matter is, we all are longing for SATISFACTION, SIGNIFICANCE and SECURITY. These are the three most basic needs of all human beings as identified by Kenneth Boa in “Conformed to His Image.” (great book by the way)  Imagine feeling satisfied and at peace deep inside, regardless of your outward circumstances. Imagine knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are valuable, important and that you matter regardless of how anyone treats you. Imagine feeling a sense of safety and security so deep within that nothing moves you. Wow. With these three basic needs met, you can find the fulfillment in life you have always dreamed of.

5) The Big Picture: The ultimate reason people tend to be sad at Christmas time is because they do not see the big picture. They forget (or were never really taught) what this season is all about, and that is Jesus:

  • Your unmet expectations are the result of a standard created by man, not God. You must renew your mind to God’s standard so you do not have false expectations that are impossible to fulfill.
  • Your deep emptiness is from a God-sized hole that only He can fill. And He longs to fill it! Invite Him in!
  • Your emotional instability is from a lack of understanding that God sent the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you so you don’t have to be led by emotions. This season, remember that your emotions are INDICATORS and when you feel them stirring,  turn toward Christ to help identify the root (possibly unmet expectations, anger, unforgiveness, etc.) Ask God: “Why do I feel this way at Christmastime? Why do I hate Christmas?” Only Jesus can bring you true peace. God wants to heal your emotions so you can enjoy and celebrate the day He was born into the earth.
  • And those Christmas Carols? Well… when you sing them, you are singing about the Lover of Your Soul, the One who loves you so much that He came to the earth as a man, laid down His life to die on a cross, and was resurrected back to life, therefore paying the penalty for your sins so you could be free. There is a supernatural anointing on those songs when they are sung and it stirs up that God-sized hole inside of you that is crying out to be filled. This season, let the stirring of your emotions cause you turn toward Jesus. After all, He is drawing you to Himself! Think about the song JOY TO THE WORLD which says “Let every heart, prepare Him room”… I never understood those words. Now I understand that the emotion I would feel when I sang them was God Himself beckoning me to prepare room for Jesus in my heart! Wow!
  • And even if you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, many times we still look to the world to give us the SATISFACTION, SIGNIFICANCE and SECURITY we all need. But GOD Himself is the only one that can meet those deep needs within you. When we learn to find our contentment IN HIM, our value IN HIM and our security IN HIM, then nothing in this world can move us. We have spent years looking for fulfillment from OUTWARD SOURCES, when all along it’s been JESUS we need. And when you invite Him into your life, He comes to dwell inside of you and you no longer have to look OUTWARD for your needs to be met. While He was born into the earth as a baby, He is no longer a baby. We must see Jesus for who He is: KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, PRINCE OF PEACE, ALMIGHTY GOD! He is seated at the right hand of the Father and is ruling and reigning over all the earth. Let Him rule and reign over your life and your emotions today!

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so today. Follow this link for more details: http://www.maryloveslife.org/A-Gift-for-You.html

This Christmas season, take your eyes off the OUTWARD things and focus your heart on the INWARD peace that comes only from Christ. Don’t let gifts, shopping, family issues, etc. bring you down! Stay focused on the fact that you are celebrating your Savior being born in the earth to set you free… the greatest display of Love ever! ALL FOR YOU! Jesus came to the earth and died on the cross because you are that valuable to Him. YOU MATTER! You are not a mistake. He loves you and wants to bring you the SATISFACTION, SIGNIFICANCE and SECURITY you so desperately desire.

So don’t let the holidays bring you down; purpose in your heart to have a Merry CHRISTmas and keep your eyes on the BIG PICTURE. When you REALLY see the big picture, Christmas will make you JOYOUS, not sad! If you’re still having trouble seeing it, ask God to help you. I promise He will.

Merry Christmas to all!

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

2 Responses to Do You Hate Christmas?

  1. Charles says:

    Mary, this was really good and right ‘on point’….thanks for sharing with your friends. We all need reminder for us as we continue in our personal journey. And most are like me, knowing someone we should send this to, C

    • Thanks Charles. As I read your comment and relflected back on my experiences with women from Gilgal, I’ll be all of them could use this message right about now! Merry Christmas to you and Donna!

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