So often around this time of year we hear about the “spirit of Christmas”, which is a reference to how people seem to care more for one another. We are a little nicer to strangers, a little more generous to those in need and our moods are often more optimistic and hopeful. But what if I told you that’s how God created you to be…EVERYDAY.
I’m teaching the Bible Study at my church and we’re going through the book of Ephesians, and while prepping my notes last week, a verse JUMPED out at me:
Ephesians 4:28 “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”
Don’t think to yourself “I’m not a thief, so this doesn’t apply to me”. Did you notice the contrast in that verse? Paul is saying to stop being selfish to start thinking about others. And not just thinking about others, but purposing your life for the benefit of others.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the “spirit of Christmas”, but in this season where we think about others, Paul is telling us we should always be thinking about others. Do you go to work every day thinking “God has blessed me with the abilities to perform the job I’m doing, so that I can use it to help those that need help”? That is the “Spirit of Christmas” being performed every day.
As I stated above, the “spirit of Christmas” isn’t only about giving generously, it’s about being nice to others and about being hopeful. Paul addresses those topics as well in verses 1-4, he instructs us Christians to live a life worthy of our calling, to be humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love. And throughout the entire book Paul continually talks about that hope that we have in Christ and the plans God has for us. That hope that we have comes from God, through the gift of his grace, all with the intent of us to do the good works he has prepared for us.
So while you enjoy the “spirit of Christmas” this time of year, and the good feelings you get from the season. Just remember, those good feelings come from God who created you to live out the “spirit of Christmas” every day of your life.