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Saturday
Dec032016

How to Have a Peaceful Christmas

By:  Donna Martin

 

Christmas – a time of hope, love, and good cheer, right?  For those of us who have trusted Jesus as our Savior it should be a great time of celebration.  However, for some it is a very difficult time of year.  Perhaps loss of job, illness, death, or circumstances beyond our control causes the season to be less than jolly. 

But there is another reason why the season may be difficult, and that is because we may have an unforgiving heart.  Sadly, there are some families and friends who do not celebrate together because of unsolved disagreements and hurt feelings. 

In Luke 17:3-4 Jesus said, “Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Forgiveness was important to Jesus.  In fact it was so important to Him that he died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.  As he was dying he said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  If Jesus can make such a great sacrifice to offer forgiveness to us, shouldn’t we offer grace and forgiveness to our friends and loved ones?

I have heard that when you refuse to forgive someone you are actually letting that person control you.  Unforgiveness causes a person to become bitter.  True happiness and contentment in life cannot exist in the life of a person who is unforgiving.

Is there someone that you need to forgive?  Perhaps that person does not even know what they have done to upset you.  It may take a great amount of courage, but ask God to help you talk to that person and offer your forgiveness.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you,” so that you can truly enjoy “peace on earth, good will to men” this Christmas.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at www.happytogethermarriages.com.

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