We’ve dug deep over the last few days and have discussed some important subjects pertaining to the Christmas season. (You can catch up here.) Subjects of when the holidays are hard and what do we do with our grief over the loss of a loved one at Christmastime have sparked much conversation. We’ve opened up our hearts as we’ve encouraged one another. We’ve spurred each other on in hope.
There’s no better time to do that then at Christmastime.
One thing we’ve come to understand is this…
People are hurting for a number of reasons, especially during the holidays.
It’s possible you are one of these people. I pray you’ve been encouraged through the last few posts and strengthened by God’s love. I hope you continue on the road to healing and wholeness this season.
A long time ago I learned hurting people hurt people. When someone hurts he or she may act out of that hurt and behave in ways he/she normally wouldn’t.
The grieving spouse might yell at her children.
The sad neighbor might turn mean.
That co-worker who drives you crazy might be the one to have buried her hurt for years.
The man freshly laid off of work might be the one who cut you off in traffic.
What if we chose to see people, especially during the holidays, with fresh eyes?
What if we saw them as hurting souls? Souls who are just trying to survive in this world, who maybe, just maybe, are acting out of their hurt?
Would that make a difference in how we react to their offenses? Would we respond different to the mean neighbor or the person who cut us off on the road?
The hurt doesn’t excuse the behavior, no, but might it help us to understand a little better?
I recently ran across a scripture that caused me to ponder. So much so, I’ve been attempting to live it out in my daily life this Christmas season. It’s all about how I treat and react to others. Here is Ephesians 4:2 in a number of translations:
Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. CEV
Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. GNT
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. TLB
Could being humble and gentle make a difference? If we patiently put up with one another and loved each other, would that cause this Christmas to be a bit more merry for us and for others? I believe it would.
If we treated others and reacted to them with humbleness, gentleness, patience, and love, maybe their hurts would begin to heal. And, maybe ours would too.
If we chose to live out Ephesians 4:2, I believe we would shine God’s light in this season and beyond, into the new year.
Let’s do this together. Will you join me?
Let’s be the change we want to see this season. Let’s begin by seeing others with fresh eyes.
Linking up with Holley and Jennifer. I invite you to visit them!
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This year we are starting a new tradition. On Christmas Eve, we are hosting a brunch for people who will be alone on Christmas. I have no idea who is going to come, but I am praying the right ones do. God will work that out!
Sarah, I absolutely love this! What a beautiful idea. Please let me know how it goes. I’ll be praying for you! Thanks for sharing this great idea here. Blessings!
This is such a wonderful & thought provoking post! I am joining you, Julie, in praying that God will help me to be the change we all need this season. So glad to have been your neighbor this morning!
Hi Joanne! Thank you for stopping in. I’m praying the same… for me and for us all. May God bless you as you continue to shine His light in this world. Hugs to you!
Amen to every word, Julie! I’ve tried to teach my girls that people sometimes act badly, not because they are jerks, but because something else is bothering them that has nothing to do with the current situation. We just never know, do we? I love your encouragement to live out Eph. 4:2 this Christmas. 🙂
Hello, Lois! You’re sharing such wisdom with your girls… and yes, you are so right. Let’s live out Ephesians 4:2 together this season. Thanks so much for coming by and for sharing. It’s a joy to have you here!
It’s as if you’ve read my mind! I am trying to see others through eyes of grace (not an easy thing for me!) instead of just letting an irritating episode lead me to react ungraciously. I’ve even written a little symbol on my wrist so I can remember that this is something I really want to work on and improve! Thank you for these encouraging words and I’ll join you in showing God’s love to those he has in our lives!
Valerie, what you’re doing is wonderful, and I love the idea of the symbol on your wrist! Thanks for that. I’m glad we can walk this road together this season. May God bless you as you continue to show His love!
OK, Julie, let’s do this together.
Yes, and Amen, Nancy! I’m thankful we can walk alongside of each other this season. Praying for you today!
This is such a great series. I’m loving read them.
Thanks, Tara. I appreciate you, and am praying God blesses you with His peace today.