This Sometimes Hard Holiday Season
As this Holiday season is coming to its peak, we tend to forget what Christmas is really about. It's not about getting presents or shopping for the greatest deal or winning that prize we keep entering for! Family is the most important thing this season, and I will say that is my opinion. Yes we remember the birth of our Savior, if in fact you believe in God. If not it isn't about that either. So many times we forget about those people that should mean most to us. Showing kindness to strangers can be so easy, because they don't really know who we are and will think we are just the nicest person ever because they were hungry on the street and we fed them a meal or put a toy in the toy box at Walmart for Toys for Tots.
What about the people in our homes and our immediate families? The parent not spoken to for years because of a fight, some sort of resentment, or even because they were abusive in some way. That sibling that has done so many horrible things in their life, or even gone to prison for drugs or got their kids taken away. Or the child who has strayed from home and has gone on their own way in life that we don't agree with.
What about them? Isn't the Holiday season about reconciliation and giving thanks for the things we have and the people in our lives? Sometimes it is, other times it isn't. Like I'm sure you though, it really depends on the situation. But in my life, choosing to forgive, whether or not you believe in a higher power, is the ultimate way to let someone go and move on with your life. And forgiving, in my opinion, isn't about letting that person wholly into your life again, but it is about choosing to let go of the hurt. When we hold onto anger and resentment it grows bitterness into our hearts and lives, which in turn hurts us, not the perpetrator.
Forgiveness. Isn't that why Jesus was sent to this earth as a baby? Because God was choosing to forgive us for all our wrongs? He was the redemption of the world, the Son of God, the Redeemer. Our forgiveness. Jesus took that upon himself in order that we might be sanctified in front of the Father. Now in turn, it is our job to forgive.
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
Take this how you will, but I take this as a command. It doesn't mean let that person in your life to keep hurting you, it doesn't mean immediately forgiveness comes. We are only humans and God understands that. It is a choice to forgive and once we get to that place He gives us the tools to do so and the wisdom to go about the forgiveness in that particular situation. Whether that means write a letter, make a phone call or meet in person and cry together.
If you don't believe in God, I would think this could still pertain in your life. Forgiveness is a letting go of those things that hinder us from moving on. So that person can't bother us anymore with that annoying or hurtful post on Facebook or the unkind words you hear about that they spoke about you behind your back. It is letting go of the hurt and freeing that person from hurting you anymore.
So as we go about those sometimes hard Holiday get together's and that one person who just gets on your nerves is there, remember: We are called to forgive. Forgiveness will set you free. Let it happen and let go of the hurt. Let God heal your wounds and make you whole again.
During this Holiday Season, may God bless you all and keep you safe and warm!