When our grandsons, Jacob and Matthew, decorated their Christmas tree all the ornaments were hung on the bottom. When they decorated our tree, with help from their taller cousins, Abby and Emmy, they reached a bit higher, but the top third was still bare.
After everyone went home, Brian and I moved the ornaments over the entire tree so that it was balanced and perhaps more pleasant to look at.
Christians don’t just decorate trees; we have ornaments with which to decorate our personalities. God calls us to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
We enjoy putting these virtues on, and like ornaments they are nice to observe; but are they balanced? Do they cover every bit of our lives?
Sometimes, like Matty’s ornaments (all on one branch in the back of the tree), we reserve kindness and compassion only for those who are the closest to us.
And, like Jake’s ornaments: Our gentleness and patience abound, but we only interact with people directly in front of and close to us and we don’t consider those who are out of sight.
Occasionally, we’re like Abby and Emmy’s ornaments, we are humble, loving and forgiving for the most part, but there are some situations and people just beyond our reach and we don’t really want to go out of our way to touch them.
In the grocery store, at church, at the mall, on the phone with customer service, in the morning before coffee, at the end of a very long day, in the hospital room, in the office, in the classroom, or on the road, would you say you reveal these virtues all the time? Are they spread throughout your life evenly and consistently?
Acting Godly in every situation is difficult and exhausting. And some might even say it’s hypocritical or fake. It surely isn’t natural.
And that’s true, it isn’t natural; but when we trust God for salvation, by believing that God came down at Christmas, died on Good Friday, and rose on Easter morning to save us from our sins, he begins the process of changing us from the inside out. He changes us from who we were to who He created us to be.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Is this Christmas season the time to believe, to be born again, and let God change you from top to bottom and enable you to live a life that displays his Godly virtues throughout your entire life? You can’t do it on your own, but with God, all things are possible.
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