OceanSide church of Christ

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The Christmas Spirit
by: Dalton Gilreath

Around this time of the year many people begin to temporarily change their attitude for the better. Some choose to be more forgiving than usual. Others might decide to show more kindness to strangers they meet. Some even become more giving when they may have been selfish the previous eleven months. This mindset is sometimes called the “Christmas spirit”. This idea that people begin to focus on the important things in life like family, love, and peace is certainly wonderful. However, the fact that this focus comes around one month out of the year is disturbing.

The Christmas spirit is not something special man should only practice one month a year. Before a heart focused on love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance was considered a “Christmas Spirt” heart, this type of attitude was described by God as a “Christian” heart, or one that is full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). While God is certainly pleased with this spirit-filled attitude of Americans in December, this is something that should be man’s focus year round—the attitude that God calls us to live with at all times as a Christian. Giving to those in need is not something that should happen only in December. Needs must be met in every month of the year. Sharing and spending time with loved ones is not a “holiday thing”, it is a yearly thing. Being full of forgiveness and slow to anger should not only be our attitude at Christmas time but at all times. The list goes on.

As many Americans begin to put Bible virtues in their hearts this month, the opportunity affords itself for God’s people to show that this mindset doesn’t end on December 31. Now is a great time to begin putting the fruits of the Spirit in one’s life and never pushing them to the side again. Christians ought to let this time of the year remind them of what needs to be important in each of their own lives every month in 2015. A great New Year’s resolution might be to have the “Christmas spirit” all year. However, be sure to break the mold and make this resolution a true reality in your life. After all, the fruits of the Spirit are much more important than many of those other resolutions that don’t come to fruition.