I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Commercials are always trying to convince us that we will be more joyful (and give more joy to the people we love) if we spend money buying things. And at this time of year, the message is even louder than usual.
But it is a lie. We don’t need that stuff to be happy.
Joy is not bought or sold or attached to things we have or don’t have. And when we give into the lie that stuff will make us happy, we experience less contentment with our lives, not more.
Now is a good time to remember that contentment is an attitude we can choose. Are we ready to be content and enjoy Christmas, no matter what presents we get (or don’t get)? Are we ready to be content with Christmas day, no matter who we spend the day with? Are we ready to be content with Christmas Eve, no matter what carols get sung or left out of the service? Are we ready to be content with Christmas dinner, no matter what is served and how well it is cooked?
It’s really hard to let go of that many expectations. If it is hard for you to imagine enjoying Christmas no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen) that day, spend a moment praying for a little bit more of the secret Paul talks about in the Bible verse today.
God, help me find a little bit more contentment today. Help me learn to accept what I cannot control and not give disappointment the power to ruin my day. Amen.