This time of the year, the holiday season, is filled with such a mix of emotion; love, hope, joy and happiness as well as the adverse; rage, despair, sorrow and discontentment. Happiness is a choice, being hopeful is a choice. We must choose to be a “good person”, a living sacrifice, a model of Jesus Christ, not… a Grinch or Scrooge. 

We also hear the clarion calls to innumerable philanthropic organizations and are consistently challenged to be kind, merciful and giving to our fellow man… even if you consider yourself a good person most of the time, you still end up feeling like you could have done more for each person or organization you helped out donating time, talent or treasure to.

Furthermore, we are also reminiscent or cognizant of relationships with our loved ones and family – both the good and the bad experiences of days past, hopeful of festive, happy and restorative events to come. We are observant of this due to the ever-present reminder of the true reason for the season, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ… reminding us of the brevity and precious nature of the gift of our lives here on earth. 

In America, we seem to believe that living a good life, helping others and serving the greater good will earn them a place in Heaven or the eternal. In spite of all our differences, most all the religions of the world share this common denominator – “How we live on this side of the grave determines what happens next.” 

We as Christians are not called to be a “Bah Humbug, Scrooge” nor a “soured, discontented, heartless, Grinch” … We are called to strive to be a “good person” serving all who are in need, loving them through their defeats and set-backs. “…he [Jesus] sat down, and He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:35 NET

In meeting the needs of our neighbors, we are becoming the relational Jesus Christ to each of them, showing the love of Christ to them, where they are…. Allowing them to experience true Christianity at its core, love without condemnation. This is the perfect way we as Christ’s followers can be true disciples to this lost and dying world… this is how we answer the question “to be or not to be… to love or not to love… to live as good people”. 

Again, we must choose to love, to be hopeful, merciful, gracious and forgiving – to show the love of our Savior Jesus Christ… use “all” of your opportunities over this holiday season to be “Jesus” to this lost and dying world, be salt and light. Choose – to be…

“Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 NET

“To be the gift of Love”