With the holidays upon us, stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression may be a part of the season for those who find themselves without loved ones near or who may be overwhelmed by all the holiday hype that distracts us from the true meaning of Christmas. I’ve often felt this way during the holidays if I had suffered some deep loss during the year or didn’t have the means to give the way I’d like.
And as I thought about how the holidays can impact our mood positively or negatively, it became clear why the Bible gives us the following wise advice. First, think on things that are true, good, lovely and praise worthy (Phil. 4:8). Second, as a person thinks, so is he/she (Prov. 23:7), meaning if we continually think and set our minds on anything, whether positive or negative, those thoughts will grow and come to life in our lives.
Our thoughts and words are powerful tools and have creative power. They propel us to act. They can draw us near to God and each other or separate us. It is with one sad thought that our whole mood and day can go from joy to sadness. Or, with one joyful thought that we feel we’re on top of the world.
So choose carefully what you cultivate and create in your life by way of your thoughts this holiday. And, make it one of your goals this holiday and beyond to retain your joy and peace in the midst of the busyness of the season; interactions with relatives, in-laws and out-laws; and all forms of family dysfunction.
And most importantly, let the Christ of Christmas, the Prince of Peace, guide your decision-making, thoughts and actions this holiday season and through the year. Let Him comfort you in those places that hurt and give you peace beyond measure where there is unrest, anxiety and frustration. Life is too precious a gift to waste on unhappiness, disappointment or someone else’s negativity.
God’s paths are paths of peace; His ways are ways of peace. So may God direct your paths and order your steps in His peace. Peace be with you who are worthy of admiration.