Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decrease and Increase

I have a lot of things I like to do around Christmas.  Ryan, growing up with many fun traditions, has a lot of things he likes to do around Christmas.  Needless to say, life can be busy in December.  I find myself juggling a list that involves crafting, family traditions, church fellowships, end of the year meetings for ministry, ministry Christmas parties, school parties for Carter, and then "normal" life obligations.

The list I have isn't a bad list, but I need to check that my motives are correct in all that I am choosing to do.  If I honestly evaluate my motives, some items can be confidently scratched off my list.

Christmas is a celebration of Christ, an opportunity to give God glory for His love, grace and mercy to those He calls to repentance and faith.  All that we do surrounding Christmas can either bring God glory or it can attempt to bring ourselves glory.  We need to choose carefully and correctly to deny ourselves and glorify Him.

Wives, some of what is on our list is for personal glory.  We WANT our house to look nice so we look like Holly Homemaker (not sure who she is, but it sounds good).  We WANT to attend every Christmas event on the calendar because we want everyone to LIKE US and ACCEPT US.  We WANT to put hours into homemade baked goods because we WANT everyone to Oooh and Aaah at our Martha Stewart skills in the kitchen.  We want our kids to be smartly dressed, our presents to be beautifully wrapped and our tree to be gorgeously trimmed.  If we search our motives, it is usually because we want to promote ourselves.

However, as Christian women, we should approach December differently than the world.

Let's take a time out for our stressed out selves, look at our list of to dos and purposely search whether each item is for God's glory or our own.  I think we will all find a few items to take off our lists.
As Christians, we need to exercise this strategy every day, not just in December.  Our lives are His, and we live to obey and honor Him, not to fatten our already obese self esteem.

John 3:30 is a great nugget verse to remind yourself of this truth.  "He must increase, but I must decrease."  This December, make sure your ego and reputation are of less importance than ever and purposefully choose to increase the amount of time you are seeking to glorify Him in word and deed.

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