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What If This Past Christmas Was Your Last?

 

Yes, the title of this post is a bit morbid, and I’m not trying to be dark or depressing.

 

But I spoke with my brother Kevin on Christmas Eve, and he asked me, “What if this is our last Christmas?” So, blame him if this upsets you, but it got me thinking.

 

  • What did I do or not do at Christmas that will be remembered?

 

  • Who did I love well or not so well over the holidays?

 

  • Did I say or do something I shouldn’t have, and I need to ask someone to forgive me?

 

  • Did I leave anything unsaid or undone?

 

  • Do I have any unresolved issues or unforgiveness in my heart toward anyone that needs resolving?

 

Maybe you’ve noticed, the holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s can be amazing or awful. Typically, when it’s not-so-good, it’s because of relational stress.

 

When that’s the case, I need to remember the clear words of the Apostle Paul, “As much as it depends on me, live at peace with everyone.” (And yes, everyone includes your former spouse, your dysfunctional parent or sibling, and your crazy uncle.)

 

 

You and I are not responsible for others, but we are responsible to others. 

 

Meaning, it’s on us to be like Jesus and love the unlovely. There’s no wiggle room here because Jesus said we must even love our enemies.

 

  • choose to love even when I don’t feel like loving.

 

  • choose to be kind, patient, gentle, and long-suffering even when a person is horrible toward me.

 

  • choose to forgive because I am forgiven. I leave vengeance and payback to God.

 

  • choose to bless those who curse me.

 

This is the way of Jesus.

 

Someone is shouting at me about now, “But that’s hypocritical! I can’t love unless I feel love! I cannot forgive when I’m still hurt and angry! Besides, they haven’t asked me to forgive them, and they sure as Hades don’t deserve it!”

 

I know.

 

I’m genuinely sorry for your pain.

 

But love—godly love—is not an emotion; it’s a choice.

 

Forgiveness is not something you feel; it’s something you do regardless of how you feel.

 

Why?

 

Because it’s what Jesus did, and because it’s what’s best for you.

 

 

Seriously.

 

When you choose not to love or not to forgive, you suffer far more than your offender.

 

You are wounding and starving your soul.

 

Believe me, I understand that the path toward freedom is not easy, but the alternative is worse.

 

Far worse.

 

I also know that you can’t undo anything that happened this past holiday season, but you can begin the new year with a fresh soul-slate.

 

So, please call your dad.

 

Drop a note to your ex.

 

Reach out to your estranged friend or child.

 

And here’s what you might say…

 

“I have held animosity in my heart toward you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. And I want you to know that I have chosen to forgive you of everything because Jesus has forgiven me of everything.”

 

As I have often said and written, we don’t own our next breath and every day is a gift from God. And that’s not said to scare you but to remind you.

 

What if this past Christmas was your last?

 

Let’s start the New Year, new, and enter 2022 with a heart renewed.

 

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KurtBubna

Kurt W. Bubna published his first book, Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot, with Tyndale in 2013. He has also published six other books. Bubna is an active blogger, itinerant and international speaker, church coach, and the Sr. Pastor of Eastpoint Church, a non-denominational congregation in Spokane Valley, Washington. He and his wife, Laura, have been married for over forty-five years and have four grown children and ten grandchildren.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Bishop Noah Muzeya

    Amen and Amen. Thank you for the word, my Mentor. You are on point. Blessings and Blessings

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you, Noah. Looking forward to being together this next year. You are loved!

  2. Linda Denning-Blehm

    Amen! Great words for everyone of us. Thank you Pastor Kurt. P.S. The Candle Light Service was wonderful.

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you, Linda. The services were so much fun. Glad you enjoyed it!

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