Real talk: sometimes, I can feel really, really guilty during the holiday season. It's pretty cliché, but as I've gotten older, I've stopped thinking all about "me" and how I'd like $500 in Starucks gift cards. Now, it's more about spending time at home with a family I get to see four times a year, and figuring out how to give back to people that a) I love and b) need the help. I mean, it's an embarrassment of riches really: so many people to give back to. But it's driven me to the point of sobbing tears to think that there are people out there that won't have gifts on Christmas, but moreso, they may not have a house, food, parents; siblings, a blanket, or someone to tell them they love them, and lift their spirits. This is a fact of life, and it kills me. I can barely listen to "Do They Know It's Christmas" because, for me, the spirit of Christmas is knowing God's glory and spreading the love to everyone you can!
I told my family that I wanted to go to a homeless shelter on Christmas and feed those in need, but for a split second I considered taking back this idea because, honestly, I don't feel like I'm strong enough to handle that. I would cry, and it would be ridiculous because these people go through hell, probably have been torn away from their families; then here I am, crying at the thought of it. It would be lame and absurd of me to get emotional in a situation like that -- when I have so much to not cry about in my life -- and the last thing I'd want to do is offend people.
I read a Joyce Meyer devotional everyday, and when I started to think about all the guilt I have about all this, I remembered something she wrote: it's not God telling me to feel guilty, upset or ashamed of the life I live -- it's the devil. God wants us to be happy and joyous; gracious and thankful. Of course he wants us to be aware, helpful to others, and wants us to love others as much as possible. But that doesn't mean straining yourself, or feeling badly about what you have, versus what others may not.
|Courtesy of Walmart Corporate|
Surely I am not the only other person who has experienced feelings like this before, so I thought I'd write to encourage you to help when you can, to take care of yourself, and truly spread the meaning of Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this season). Consider heading to the food bank to help, donate to your local toy drive, or adopt a family -- and make it a work affair! Getting your office involved makes donating even more fun.