We switch gears so quickly these days. We go from celebrating all God has given us and thanking Him, to writing down our Christmas wish list and waiting in anticipation for what we’ll get.
Why does this happen?
Christmas has a tendency to awaken our past and present physical desires. I’m sure you’ve already begun to consider what you don’t have, so that you can ask Santa for those things. In reality, when we consider what we do have, there is nothing we should want.
Let me explain this a little better. I confess I’ve already seen things in the stores that I’ve added to my imaginary Christmas wish list. Naturally, I don’t already have the things I’m asking for, or I wouldn’t be asking!
Stop for a moment and play a little game with me. Stare at your own imaginary Christmas list, thinking about every single thing you want. Consider why you want it, and what you’ll feel like if you don’t get it. Now examine your heart. How do you feel? Greedy? Discontent? Frustrated?
Now picture a past Christmas gift in your mind. Now think about all the things you were able to do with that one present. Think about how much you enjoyed receiving it and playing with it or wearing it or using it. Now without letting your brain wander, thank God for it. Then examine your heart again.
Do you feel different? Thankful? Content? Joyful?
Which test made you feel better? The first or the second? I’m not sure about you, but I definitely felt better the second time. Why?
God made us to be thankful. But sin has changed us into self-absorbed and greedy people. Deep inside of us is that thankfulness, which shows its face less than it should. It feels right and good to be thankful instead of greedy, being content instead of discontent, and joyful instead of frustrated. It’s a peaceful, simple breath of fresh air in our polluted and greedy culture.
Please don’t get me wrong and think that receiving gifts is sinful, because it isn’t. But when we become too obsessed with what we want all the time, it can become sinful.
So this Christmas season, allow the Thanksgiving holiday to continue in your heart and mind. I promise you will feel refreshed and joyful.
Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!