"Christmas: Crushed or Content?"

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By: Lynn Cowell

Romans 13:8, “Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along….” (Message)

Recently, I heard the T.V. blare out the news that the credit crunch would definitely affect the Christmas spending this year. Credit card companies are lowering credit limits and raising interest rates. Maybe you have heard your parents talking about the economy and how things in America just aren’t that great right now. When I heard this news program, I pictured many American families beginning to worry. Where will the money come from to keep up with the way we have grown accustomed to celebrating Christmas?

Is there any possibility, though, that this could actually be a good thing?

Overspending during the holiday season is a joy robber. Why? Because it causes us to stress about money and the hole of debt we have fallen into because of buying so many Christmas gifts. In years past, you might have sensed stress in your family during this season for this very reason.

Romans 13:8 encourages us to owe no one anything except love. How does this relate to Christmas? Take my sister and her family as an example. They practiced these gifts of love last Christmas. They all chose one family member’s name to buy a gift for. In addition to this gift, they also wrote a letter of love to the receiver. My sister shared with me that the reading of these letters out loud before they opened their gifts created tears of love, healing and forgiveness. As the tears flowed from her family, she celebrated in her heart that this was their best Christmas ever. The boxes may have been the fewest, but their love was the most!

How about your family as this Christmas season approaches? Can you make a suggestion to your family to adopt a new way of showing each other how much you really love each other this Christmas?

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank You for giving your Son as the ultimate gift to us. Please help me this Christmas to focus on You and help my family to do the same! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Think About It:

In past Christmases, have I put undue pressure on my parents to keep up with other families when it comes to gift giving?

What is one thing I would like to receive this year that money can’t buy? Is this something I can give to another?

What can I do each day in December that will help me to focus on Jesus?

Live It:

Plan one gift to each of your family members that costs very little but says the world about how you love them.

Sit down with your parents and relieve them of the pressure to have to try and keep up with others this Christmas.

Power Verses:

1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (NIV)

Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (NIV)

Job 36:11, “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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