I remember in former weight loss programs the encouragement to have one day a week where you ate anything and everything you wanted. After all, who could actually stay disciplined without a “fudge” (no pun intended) day each week. If only they knew the power of God!
While I don’t want to encourage total unrestraint this Christmas, I do want to suggest that you take the day off from obsessing over (perhaps they’ve already become your natural habit) practicing the Keys to Conscious Eating and what your progress/status is with regard to goals you’ve set, and what others may think of us when they see we are still heavy, etc. I suggest this to all of those (myself included) who like to check all the boxes, and get terribly discouraged when we miss a box. By all means, go into the day with a realistic and godly plan for your eating (especially when it comes to setting the day apart before the day gets started). However, let’s focus on Jesus instead of our weaknesses. Let’s focus on what His birth came to bring us (freedom!). Let’s focus on the loved ones, including those who bring with them unhealed places that rub against us and rejoice that we’re still living and breathing together this year. Let’s set the tone in our homes for offering peace and blessing and giving words of encouragement to those we’ll see. Let’s take cookies to that cranky neighbor next door, and bridle our tongue when a sibling forgets to say “thank you” for including them in the festivities, or our child(ren) don’t offer to help with anything. Let’s take the high road and share with others the great things God’s been teaching us this past year. Let’s take the day off from focusing on our carnal selves and enter the eternal place that Jesus’ birth has given us. The place that is free from the sin that so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1).
To be prudent we must remember we have an active enemy who will want to use this day to sabotage all thoughts of freedom and hope. As John Eldredge in his book entitled, Waking the Dead, says, “The enemy knows who you are in Christ and fears it. His only agenda is to do whatever it takes to hinder you from walking in that knowledge.” Wow! Suffice it to say, the enemy won’t be taking Christmas off and so neither should we. What I’m suggesting is that by focusing on Jesus Himself, and what the true meaning of Christmas is, rather than focusing on ourselves and the flesh of our journey, we’ll find ourselves resisting the enemy at every turn.
With regard to “setting the day apart” if you plan nothing else please plan to wake up as early as necessary to grab your bible, journal, truth cards, and a cup of coffee. Then go and hide yourself in that quiet place where Jesus will be waiting to equip you for the day(s) ahead. And throughout the day when the conversation goes awry or you find yourself losing your peace step away and quickly go find a place, any place (a closet, bathroom, or car works just fine) to renew your mind and encourage your soul, even if for only a few minutes. Don’t let the enemy pull you back into the place your purposed earlier in the day not to go. Remember, Jesus’ birth brought you freedom from that place.
What about you? As the holidays rapidly approach are you finding yourself anxious or at peace? Where can you carve out those few minutes to regain some control? Between now and Christmas/New Year’s visit the Thin Within blog often, even going back through the archives to strengthen yourself in the Lord. Keep an eye on the testimonies via Facebook. Remember this Christmas, Jesus’ birth brought us freedom. Let’s focus on that today.