Dangers at Christmas

IN THIS SEASON OF EXTREME BUSYNESS, we Christians need to stay alert to any potential dangers. I'll mention only four of them . . . along with some strategies that will allow us to combat each risk.

First is the doctrinal danger of substituting the temporal for the eternal. Paul explains:

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

ROMANS 12:2

It's important that we rivet into our heads exactly what we're celebrating. It is our Savior's arrival, not Santa's. The significance of giving presents is to be directly related to God's presenting us the gift of His Son—and our kiddos need that reminder year in and year out.

Second is the personal danger of impressing but not imparting. We represent the King. We are His chosen ambassadors, doing His business "in season and out of season."

Third is the economic danger of spending more than you have. Before every purchase, ask yourself some direct, penetrating questions: Is this within my budget? Is it appropriate? Is it really saying what I want it to say?

Finally, there's the psychological danger of getting built up for a letdown. One of the most effective maneuvers of the world system is to create a false sense of excitement. The Christian can get "high" very easily on the crest of Christmas. But the cold that sweeps in on the tail of a fading afterglow can be a dangerous, depressing experience. Guard yourself. Keep a firm hand on the controls. Don't be deceived. Enjoy the 25th . . . but not at the expense of falling into a funk on the 26th.

If you stay occupied with the Person, you'll seldom have to fight off the plague. When the wrappings and ribbons are in the trashcan and the manger scene is back in the attic and the friends and family have said goodbye and the house feels empty and so do you . . . there is One who waits to fill your heart and renew your hope. He will be there on December 24 and 26!

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.


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