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FIRST-PERSON: Be a joy whisperer

PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) — Be brutally honest. Which of these two phrases do you exclaim most often this time of year? “Merry Christmas!” or “I’m so busy!” When a Christian spends the Christmas season in a stress mode, that doesn’t honor God.

Here are six tips to help you have joy — inside and out — during the busy Christmas holidays.

1) Begin well. Personally start each morning of the holiday season by reading the Bible and asking God to give peace and wisdom. Those minutes will invigorate and focus your day.

2) Snatch snippets of time for peaceful relaxing. A new 1000-piece puzzle sits on our coffee table each December, with a goal of finishing it by Christmas as family members or friends sit and chat, working on the puzzle. Find ways to encourage laid-back conversation and togetherness for your family or friends to do together. Sit around a fire. Decorate Christmas cookies. Sip hot cocoa. Watch a Christmas movie. Sing. Cram into the car and drive around town to see Christmas lights.

3) See people in your pathway. Be extra kind to strangers. Smile. Show sincere interest. Be patient. Don’t critique non-Christians who don’t celebrate a Savior they don’t even know yet. Instead, let them see Jesus in you, spreading His joy everywhere you go.

4) Refocus. Remember that Christmas is about celebrating Christ. Yes, we treasure traditions, decorations, parties, community events, benevolence projects, baking, eating, gifting and so much more. We’re especially busy this month! But when our key reason for celebration is Christ, the stress to please people disappears. There’s joy. One idea: place a touchable nativity on child level for kids’ and grandkids’ hands-on play.

5) Joy doesn’t whine. Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without grumbling or complaining….” If we constantly lament, “I’m so busy” or “I’m so broke,” it can come across as, “God isn’t in control.” A God-follower must never be a complainer. God gives His children joy on good days and difficult days. Treasure all the moments of life.

6) Give joyfully to someone who can’t give back. Generously share your time with someone who’s lonely, poor, grieving or ill. Give an extravagant missions offering. Be kind to a child. Anonymously bless someone in Jesus’ name. Instead of a “wish list,” help your children discover the joy of giving, making homemade gifts or doing Christian ministry projects.

This Christmas season, will you choose to stress out and complain? Or will you joyfully celebrate Christ. Be the “Joy Whisperer,” spreading God’s joy wherever you go. Joy is not loud or forced. It comes directly from God. Your Christian joy oozes over those around you, even at Christmas. Especially at Christmas!

    About the Author

  • Diana Davis