“I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” – 1 Corinthians 7:35
Christmas is the season for distractions. Traffic is heavy, the stores are crowded, the lines are long and patience is in short supply. We wander from line to line, or wander aimlessly waiting for the time when we can “get out of there.” Around every corner there is something that seeks to increase the stress and steal the joy of the season from us.
Between today and Christmas, we will face the inevitable distractions. As a result, it is a lot easier said than done trying to simplify life and keep Christ at the center of our celebration. If this is you, you are not alone. Nor should we be surprised. The Devil wants nothing more than to turn our focus from the real message of Christmas. He wants nothing more than getting us all caught up in wrapping paper, parties, details and Christmas lights. And we all know he is pretty good at it.
So what do we do this Christmas season to deal with the many demands, the constant deadlines, and tensions in relationships. How do we to handle the distractions?
In Philippians 4:4, Paul says, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” I know what you are thinking, here comes the think positive and don’t worry speech. And what’s more those phrases won’t help me deal with the distractions. But Paul is not telling us to don’t worry, be happy, he is saying we should rejoice. We should worship the Lord. He is telling us to remember who we are and who we belong to and ignore the distractions.
In the midst of the Christmas rush, we must remind ourselves that our reason for celebration this season is not the decorations, it’s not the presents, the carols or any of these surface things. Our reason for joy is the Lord.
We can have a Christ-centered Christmas. But it takes focus and determination. Yes, we will have to deal with the distractions. But they not keep us from remembering the real reason for the season by worshipping the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord.
- In your opinion, what is the best part of Christmas?
- Do you think it’s possible to avoid stress, debt, and huge crowds during the Christmas season? Why or why not?
- What impact do you think that all the “merchandizing, stress, commercialization, etc. has had on Christmas?
- What’s the one thing you can do to reduce the distractions at Christmas?