Besides the Christmas traffic, crowded stores, and last-minute shopping, there’s one common denominator we will all get to deal with this Christmas… it’s family.
Family is the one central theme to every Christmas. But let’s be honest, it’s not always a jolly occasion. Sometimes it can be downright awkward, painful, and full of stress.
The question is, how do you deal with your family during the holidays?
Here are four steps to dealing with your family God’s way this Christmas.
And just remember, the choice is yours.
Choose not to be offended.
Why can we have such thick skin from everyone but our family?
For some of you, just the mere presence of your family makes you offended. You’re even annoyed at the thought of being in the same room as them.
If you’re going to have a great Christmas, you have to choose not to be offended.
Proverbs 12:16 says that “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.”
This Christmas, don’t be too quick to fly off the handle. Take a deep breath and overlook the insult, whatever it might be. And remember, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)
Choose to be patient.
The older I get, the more I realize being in a hurry doesn’t get me there faster. Sometimes it gets me into trouble. It gets me into trouble because I get angry when things don’t happen in my time frame. Sound familiar?
Do you know what’s never gotten me into trouble? Being patient.
Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”
If you want to have a calm Christmas with your family, you need to be patient. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment and the people you’re with.
Remember, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)
Choose to say kind things.
There’s a disease that’s been going around since the beginning of time, and it’s ruined hundreds of millions of relationships. It’s called Run of the Mouth Disease. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
What you need to remember is that your words matter for eternity.
Jesus said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Matthew 12:35-37)
If that doesn’t make you think before you speak, nothing will.
This Christmas, you should “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Choose to love them anyway.
Love is not an option in God’s family, and it’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. Love for Jesus and hate for people cannot come out of the same person. Love and hate don’t go together.
That’s why Jesus took love to the next level when he said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-36)
If you are willing to listen, this Christmas, Jesus said to love your family. With all their quirks, differences, and even failures. Love them as Jesus has loved you, unconditionally.
If you do, “Your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:35-36)