“You are beautiful in every way, my friend, there is no flaw in you!”
— Song of Songs 4:7
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s that time of the year when everything from serious sermons to sappy jewelry commercials and everything in between turn their attentions to taking care of others. And that’s a good thing, although we should probably be thinking about that all year.
But I want to switch things up a little and talk about the importance of YOU. Yup, I am actually going to write a Christmas column about how you need to take care of yourself this holiday season.
OK, let me explain. I am not talking about going out and buying yourself a cartload of gifts and eating all your favorite foods until you explode in a giant ball of self-satiation — but actually kind of the opposite. I want to take a little time this holiday season to consider how important you are to the Lord, to the world and to all those in your world that you will probably be buying gifts and treats for. And to remember that you don’t have to be perfect to realize that value.
Because sometimes worrying too much about being perfect can make us look past our greatest strengths and assets and leave us so angry with ourselves that we stop taking care of ourselves. And the next thing you know, we can’t help anybody else either.
I bring this up at the holiday season for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s a time of the year when many of us come face to face with friends and relatives that we may not have seen in a while. And suddenly we feel a rush of responsibility to force a year full of love into a short season.
Well back to what I said at the beginning of the column, maybe it’s better to try doing that a little at a time throughout the year. But let’s not think about the past right now. Let’s focus on the present, and the fact that all you really need to do this season to show your love is — to show your love.
You don’t have to buy the perfect present for every single person you know. A gift is always a nice gesture. But remember it is the thought that counts, and the perfect thought is simply to let someone know you love them.
And you don’t need to suddenly be a superhuman host that creates the ultimate holiday experience for everyone you know. Parties and festivities in which we welcome others into our homes and our hearts are lovely opportunities to share our earnest and sincere love with others; don’t let the need to please and impress get in the way of that.
It’s also not necessary for you to solve all of the world’s problems during the holiday season. Sometimes our desire to help the hungry, the poor and the disadvantaged as well as those in our own families can become overwhelming around this time. It’s valuable that we are thinking about them and doing what we can. We don’t need to save the world, just try to make it a little better by being your loving self.
Finally you don’t need to completely fix everything that you think is wrong with you in time for some kind of incredible New Year’s Resolution. First of all remember that you are not broken. We all have struggles, challenges and issues we need to deal with every day. Deal with them confidently knowing that God loves you and created you the way you are for a reason, and that reason can only work if you love and respect His creation — that’s YOU.
What you do need to do at this time of year especially is to open your heart to the Lord and let him work his miracle within the miracle that is you. You are beautiful and created in the image of the Lord. So love yourself, and let that love spill out to all you meet.
And be open to how the Lord wants to continue to work on the masterpiece that is you. Be open to His will for you and his way. He has a plan and YOU are a big part of it.
Believe in the Lord this holiday season and believe in YOU, because He believed in you enough to create you. And that’s a pretty big deal. Merry Christmas!