TIS THE SEASON By Tammy Glover

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3: 16 NIV

Christmas can be a beautiful and joyous time. Unfortunately, for some people it can be very depressing and stressful. We tend to set ridiculously high expectations for ourselves during this time of year. We want to be able to give the best gifts, send the best cards, decorate the best tree, cook the best dinner and bake the best desserts. If it’s not the best, what will people think of us?

We also set high expectations on each other. It’s Christmas so our family members are supposed to act like they have sense. Everyone is supposed to be cheerful and kind. Heck, if Christmas could melt the hearts of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch, surely it can melt the hearts of that mean neighbor, coworker or family member. Yet every year, they act just as crazy.

Some people have been beat up so badly by life and they are so hurt that they simply just can’t see the point of it all. Why should they be happy when their lights are out and the rent is over due? Why should they be happy when they have lost a loved one? Why should they be happy when they have been abused all year long?

Well, I don’t have a magic pill to make people happy and I don’t have a magic wand that will make any negative circumstance instantly disappear. I can’t afford to give the most expensive gifts and I probably won’t bake the best dessert. What I do have is Jesus.

This season is not about you or me; it’s about the gift that God gave to the world. It’s a gift that no man can top. It’s a gift that brings peace, joy, love, healing, mercy and salvation. God loved us so much that he gave us the gift of his son, Jesus Christ. No matter what your circumstance is or how you’ve been hurt in the past, Jesus came so that you could be free. He brings light to darkness. He heals the broken-hearted. He provides for all our needs.

This year, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what the Lord has given to you. Love each other. Forgive each other. Pray for each other. Take the time to show someone that you care. Jesus did that for all of us.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150: 6 NIV

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TRUE WISDOM By Tammy Glover

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 NIV

What is true wisdom? Wisdom is recognizing that you don’t know everything. It’s accepting that you’re not perfect. It’s admitting that you have made a mistake and that you need help. It’s seeking out and listening to those who have walked down the same paths successfully. It’s taking responsibility for your mistakes and not blaming others for the consequences of those mistakes. It’s learning from your mistakes.

True wisdom takes true humility and patience. You have to be humble and submit to God. You have to trust and know that his ways and timing are perfect. Wisdom is not putting God in a box. It’s realizing that God provides wisdom in all forms. It could come from an expert, a friend, a family member or the simplicity of a child’s words. Before shunning someone’s advice, pray, it may be the Lord speaking through them.

True wisdom is seeing the things in your life that hinder you from receiving answers. It’s being able to not only recognizing and pointing out the faults of others but recognizing and pointing out your own faults. Are you selfish? Are you bitter? Are you prideful? Are you arrogant? Are you greedy? Are you lazy? Are you afraid? Are you jealous of others? Are you stuck mourning the loss of a dream? Do these things prevent you from rejoicing in the blessings of others?

I know these are ugly words. They sting and your first response may be to become defensive. You might even be tempted to look at the person next to you with accusation but try to fight these urges. It’s ok if you see these things in yourself. Trust me, you’re not alone. True wisdom sees and asks God to remove these things from your heart. It recognizes that you will become better by His grace.

True wisdom is a rare gem. It’s priceless and it can be hard to find. It does not seek you out but you have to seek it.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV