“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
Over the years, I’ve met many people who dread the Christmas season. For them it is a time of painful memories, difficult encounters, and unresolved grief. Do you share this perspective of Christmas?
If so, let me encourage you.
When Christmas brings pain, it is usually the result of unresolved emotions that are festering beneath the surface. The Christmas season serves as the trigger for these unresolved emotions because we intuitively know that the Christmas season should be a time of joy, peace, and love. When it is not, we are reminded more intensely that something is wrong.
In counseling others for many years, I have discovered that, in almost every case, the root cause of Christmas anguish is unforgiveness. Christmas pain is caused by the memory of past hurts or past losses. When we do not forgive those who hurt us, or when we do not yield the pain of our losses to Christ, we suffer at Christmas time. In fact, we suffer all the time, but more intensely at Christmas.
If you are hurting this Christmas season, examine your heart. Are you harboring unforgiveness toward someone who wronged you? Perhaps that someone is God or even yourself. Are you holding on to the memory of a lost loved one–whether deceased or living–in an unhealthful way by refusing to complete the grief process? Both of these scenarios will rob you of the joy, peace, and love that Jesus wants you to experience not only at Christmas time but all the time.
NOTE: A few years ago, I wrote an article about unforgiveness that may help you. If you are interested, here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/plc2hln
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