Christmas is here. We all know it. You can’t help but look around and see all the blaring advertisements, the waiting-emails, the timely-coupons, the house-lights. At times, it all feels bombarding.
Also, with Christmas, comes get-togethers with people of all types — family members we haven’t seen for ions, cousins that are long lost, and get-togethers with people of varying opinions. Christmas can thrust us into conversations we don’t feel prepared for. . .
How do we keep things peace-full? Loving? And, uplifting?
You may encounter a complainer. You may talk with someone who 100,000% disagrees with your political outlook. Another may criticize you for something you did 10 years ago, lighting a flame under your seat.
How will you react?
Basically, no matter how you are triggered, annoyed or unsettled — every time, it comes down to: how will you react?
Our reactions are what we are responsible for. Even Jesus was tempted in the garden by a devil. Just because He may have had a momentary inclination to respond a certain way — He didn’t take the bait.
We can simply resolve, this season, to — not take the bait.
When a mean word comes, don’t take the bait.
When the assault hits, don’t take the bait.
When someone tells you what to do for the umpteenth time, don’t take the bait. Half the time, offenders don’t even realize how offensive they come off. It is not about you, but usually about some sort of inner anxiety or turmoil they haven’t yet figured out how to deal with.
Inhale. Ask God for help. Receive His peace. Wait for His words of life. Release them. Or, simply walk away until you can gather yourself.
“If you don’t know what you’re doing (you lack wisdom), pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.” (Ja. 1:5 MSG)
This is what wisdom looks like. Wisdom doesn’t walk into situations without a plan, nor does it do what its always done, banging its head against the same tinseled window.
Wisdom stops, asks God and then moves a new way, with His life-giving answer.
I am praying for you: Father God, sometimes we don’t know what we’ll encounter, until we are right in the middle of the moment, encountering it. I am asking for grace this Christmas season — as we encounter difficult spaces and places. Help us so that we can respond with wisdom and love. Protect us with your loving hand. Lead us in all your ways. Teach us what to say in hard moments. Guide our path. Give us all your words. Thank you that you always love us. May we, habitually, remember that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.