We call this the season to be jolly. We sing joy to the world. There is a heightened excitement and happiness that seems to hit its crescendo on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. According to tradition, there is the anticipated gathering with family and the exchanging of gifts.
However, there is also a wide range of emotions experienced by many during this season that have little to do with joy and happiness. During this season, there are those who will experience loneliness, rejection, disappointment, fear, anxiety and apprehension. Sadly for some, the conclusion of these feelings will result in suicide.
Make no mistake about it — the Adversary, Satan, works overtime during this season leading people to the hope and expectation of excitement, joy, happiness, love and acceptance. As he leads some to the crest of this euphoria, he then pushes them over the edge, watching as they fall into a canyon of depression and emotional despair.
As believers, we have a God who is a refuge and stronghold. It is He alone who promises hope and joy. Therefore, in light of the Adversary’s great deception, I want to suggest to you five traps to avoid during this season.
1. Personal danger . . . trying to impress instead of loving for Christ’s glory. Our over the top gifts or shower of goodness can be more about us than about loving for Christ’s glory. Beware!
2. Economical danger . . . spending more than you have. Before every purchase, think: Is this within my budget? Is it appropriate? What is my true motive? Be careful!
3. Emotional danger . . . believing your purchase will make things “all right.” Money won’t buy happiness. Be realistic!
4. Expectation danger. . .believing that everyone should meet your expectation in order for you to feel happy. It is during this season that people often find themselves deeply hurt and wounded by others. This occurs because someone has not met another’s expectations and often leads to anger and bitterness in families. Be gracious!
5. Psychological danger. . . believing that if my gift is good enough, I will be loved and accepted by the recipient and thus, I am okay…I am loved. Be wise!
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Psalms 46:10a-11)