Written by Dr. Bill Bagents
As blessed as the holiday season is, it’s also known for significant temptations. Some of us have been around long enough that we ought to see the tempter coming from miles away.
For happier holidays, avoid the trap of over-booking. It’s still impossible to be two places at once. For happier holidays, choose to do what’s reasonable. Don’t over-commit. Take turns with visits. Visit by phone, text, or Skype. Go old school and write a card or letter.
For happier holidays, avoid the trap of over-eating. Trust the modern proverb, “It’s not what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas; it’s what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving.” Still, self-control is a major virtue (Proverbs 25:28, Galatians 5:22-23).
For happier holidays, avoid poison. We remain amazed that so many people harm their bodies with nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs. Proverbs 20:1 tells the truth: “Wine is a mocker…” Proverbs 23:29-35 is stunningly blunt and accurate. So is Proverbs 23:20-21.
For happier holidays, avoid grudging giving and grudging givers. Proverbs 23:6-8 speaks graphically. The grudging giver’s “heart is not with you.” He can’t enjoy giving the gift, and he won’t let you enjoy receiving it. That’s a lose/lose proposition.
For happier holidays, avoid loving things more than people. “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted calf with hatred” ((Proverbs 15:16-17). Proverbs 23:4-5 warns against overworking to be rich. “For riches certainly make themselves wings. They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” Things don’t last, but love does.
For happier holidays, avoid closing your heart to those who need. “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given” (Proverbs 19:17). What an offer of grace! God promises, “The generous soul will be made rich…” (Proverbs 11:25).
For happier holidays, avoid saying everything that you think. “He who guards his mouth preserves life…” (Proverbs 13:3). “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11). “He who has knowledge spares his words…” (Proverbs 17:27-28).
And you know these aren’t just holiday truths. They’ll work every day of the year.