Christmas is supposed to be one of the most joyous times of the year. We are celebrating the birth of our Savior. Often families and friends have special gatherings or ways that they celebrate together and Christmas music can be heard wherever you go. But in the midst of all the cheer, there are often people who are not having a Merry Christmas. To some they might come across as a Scrooge or a Grinch, or even an Abominable Snowman. But there is hope. Just like all those characters had a change of heart, even the toughest people in our lives can have a change of heart with the help of God. Here are some ways that you can help make others Merry this Christmas season.
Ask God for help.Only God can change the hearts of people. Remember he took Saul, who was persecuting and killing Christians and turned him into Paul, someone who would impact His kingdom. Pray and ask God to give you eyes to see past the person’s actions. Pray that the person would have a change of heart. It might take a dramatic event or something changing in their life for them to have a change of heart. Ask God to do whatever it takes to bring them to a place where they recognize their need for Him in their life. Ask God to give you eyes to see the person like He sees them. Often a person’s actions and attitudes can cloud the way we view and treat them. Be committed to praying for them daily. Write their name in a place that you see daily as a reminder to pray for them. It could be a mirror, on your hand or in a planner.
Get to know them. The holidays can be difficult for many. It could be that they have lost a loved one or may be struggling to make ends meet. They could be struggling with an illness or they might not have grown up in a home that celebrated Christmas. Whatever the circumstance, God wants us to love others like He loves them. If possible, try and take time to get to know the person and understand their situation. Take them to coffee or invite them to a meal. Ask God to show you what to share. You might have gone through a similar circumstance. Remember they might not open up to you initially or ever. Pray and ask God to give you insight so that you can best serve and care for that person. Let them know that you are there for them. Sometimes that simple act of letting others know we care for them can change them dramatically.
Look for ways to serve. This could be making a meal for them, buying groceries, inviting them over for a meal with your family. If you have been through a similar situation or know someone else that has, think through the things that were most helpful to you. If they are open to sharing, ask them for ways that you can help them out. Remember that receiving help is a humbling experience. Even if a person is in a dire situation, it can be difficult for them to ask for help or receive assistance. Also be mindful when you do help. Not everyone wants the situation shared on social media or broadcast from the stage at church, so while you may be excited about helping someone, try to be aware of what you share and whom you share it with. Their need might be beyond what you can provide. If they are open to it, ask your small group or friends to come alongside to serve the needs.
Invite them. Many churches have outreach events around the holidays because people are more open to visiting a church around these times. Take advantage of this and invite your friend or family member to one of these events or Christmas Eve service. Sometimes it can help to explain to the person what to expect. It can help get rid of any fears or anxieties of the unknown. They might have had a bad experience with church or religion. Be willing to listen if they are open to sharing. Ask God to show you people in your life that you can invite and then pray that He would soften their hearts to be open to coming and experiencing a relationship with Him.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12