I can remember as a child spending hours completing a Christmas list. I knew what I wanted and I was pretty sure that if my list avoided asking for too much, I would likely get it all. How thrilled I was on Christmas day when I did indeed get the things on my list.
As decades went by, it became increasingly difficult to put together my Christmas list. I really had little need for more stuff, and people around me began to say, “You’re impossible to buy for. You have everything.” Isn’t it strange that as we grow older and surround ourselves with the bounty of success, we discover diminished pleasure in having stuff and little or no joy in new things conquered? What’s that all about?
Perhaps what we need is a new approach to making a Christmas list. What if, rather than struggling to prepare a list of what we want, we took some time contemplating what kind of things are likely on Jesus’ Christmas list? What a great idea, right? Compile Jesus’ Christmas list and then compare it to our traditional list?
If you’re anything like me, your traditional list was filled with what you want and the things people should give you. However, when I compile my perception of Jesus’ Christmas list, I find it filled with gift ideas for others. Hmmmmm . . . is there a message here?
I recently read in a friend’s blog that the Bible provides more than 60 ways we as believers are to treat one another. It’s a great place to research what’s on Christ’s Christmas list and includes ways we are to love one another, unite with one another, and show humility and deference toward one another.
The Greek word used for “one another” is “allelon” and it appears more than 100 times in the Bible. Do a search sometime and you will find clear Biblical guidance on how we are to act toward one another. God commands us to love, help, serve, accept, strengthen, encourage, forgive, instruct, greet, comfort, spur, honor, and yes, even admonish one another in love. We are also instructed that we should submit to, commit to, confess to, be devoted to, held accountable to, kind to, preferential to, sing to, show compassionate to, and be like-minded with, one another. It strikes me that God went out of His way to be sure we know how we are to treat one another, leaving little doubt what our days should be filled with.
My traditional Christmas list, carried forward from early childhood, is much like my first half experience: a bit too focused on me. Moving to a joy-filled second half requires us to put aside our childish Christmas list and instead prepare a biblically-inspired list of what Christ has in mind for us throughout the year. Clearly we need to be more “one another” focused, and God has given each of us special gifts and personal strengths that equip us to be all that God intended.
Discovering what your gifts are, who God intended you to be and then getting involved with one another to fulfill God’s plan can be a daunting task. But as a Halftime Certified Coach, I am here (as well as the rest of our outstanding coaching team) to help believers like you get started with and committed to a most amazing life transformation. You too can develop a second half that is purposeful and one another focused. Before long you will find yourself providing things that are on Jesus’ Christmas list. How cool is that?