Some of you started celebrating Christmas the day after Halloween. But for most of us, we have formally embraced the Christmas season now that it’s December. In the midst of the crazy year of 2020, the Christmas season brings hope, joy, traditions and a cheer we see influence our workplaces, schools and homes.
Christmas Covers Up Our Messy Relationships
For many of us, Christmas is the time we look forward to most as the year comes to an end. However, for others, the Christmas season is just a mess.
During the Christmas season, I often found that I was forcing myself to be nice to people I didn’t like, whether classmates, co-workers or family members. Whatever the reason for these broken relationships, Christmas traditionally tries to cover up the mess as everyone “sucks it up.”
However, we can’t ignore the pain, anger and frustration that accompanies the mess from these broken relationships. Whether you are good at suppressing it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to do something about the messy relationships you have been avoiding.
Whether you are good at suppressing it or not, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to do something about the messy relationships you have been avoiding.
Why are they a mess?
Did someone betray you?
Did they cut you out of a business deal?
Did they fire you?
Did they hurt you?
Did they hurt a loved one?
Did they abandon you?
Did they speak negatively behind your back?
Bring The Mess To The Surface
As a man, I don’t think it takes a lot to cause a mess in relationships we have with the people around us. Unfortunately, most men never deal with the mess and try to go on like it doesn’t bother them. That may work for a while, but then we hit a point like the Christmas season, and it all comes back to the surface.
I think you will be surprised to find out how many men are walking around with hatred and the inability to love someone in their life. We would rather let the sun go down on those feelings. But the Bible is clear, stating that approach gives Satan room to make more of a mess of this.
Jesus tells us we are to simply love our enemies. When he said this during the Sermon on the Mount, he spoke to a culture that had leaders and authorities that would justify why it was okay to hate people in that culture. Whether it was the Roman Empire, the Samaritans, or even the Gentiles – they justified their hatred, and loving these people was the last thing on their to-do list.
Choose To Love Despite The Mess
Honestly, whoever you hate, strongly dislike, or have the inability to love, you probably have a really good reason to justify why you don’t need to love them this Christmas season. You probably have also been carrying this around with you way too long. Don’t you finally want to have peace rather than this mess?
Jesus commands us to love our enemies, which I truly believe deep down is connected to the inner peace that hatred robs us of. Don’t you want peace? One less thing to worry about in your life? The ball is your court this Christmas season to make peace with these people who have been causing a mess in your life. Whether it’s forgiving them internally, so you simply let go of this bitterness, or whether you need to call them to talk this out, the action step looks different for all of us.
The ball is your court this Christmas season to make peace with these people who have been causing a mess in your life.
Don’t wait for them to make the first move because that day may never come. You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your own. And Jesus calls you to act on this by loving them despite the mess.