MTL Christmas - Page 83

No 3 No 6 FOCUS ON THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH. Spend time reflecting on the real reason we celebrate December 25: the birth of Christ. Almighty God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to our planet. And His gifts are priceless: forgiveness, unconditional love and the gift of Himself; God with us, Emmanuel. It’s a gift that literally lasts forever. We simply need to receive it. Get rid of erroneous “if only” thinking: “If only I had a boyfriend, then I’d be happy. When I get married, then I will never be lonely again.” The truth is God loves you more than you know. It’s OK to desire a relationship—God created us that way. But we need to put our hope in God, not another person. No 7 BE AT PEACE. No 4 FIND COMMUNITY. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Make an effort to connect with others. If you don’t have a family, or can’t afford to go home for the holidays, seek out other singles. Attend Christmas events in your church or community. No 5 Despite how you feel, you can have peace inside. Spend time thinking on this verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Whether you are single or married, enjoying the holidays happens when you put God first, focus on the true meaning of Christmas and seek to serve and bless others. When you do that, you experience true joy that lasts beyond the season. FOCUS ON SERVING OTHERS. When we take our eyes off ourselves and help others, it pleases God and brings us joy. Consider how you can serve this holiday season. Visit lonely seniors in a nursing home. Serve at a soup kitchen. Invite a few friends over to watch classic Christmas movies. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Even the gift of a simple smile can bless someone else. For more from Jackie M. Johnson, check out When Love Ends on / MTL Magazine 83