Don’t Let Counterfeit Convictions Ruin Christmas
- Thursday, December 01, 2011
Editor's Note: This article is adapted from author Amie Streater's new book Your Money God's Way (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
I know what you're thinking: Here it comes.
Thanksgiving has flown by. Christmas and New Year's are around the corner; Gifts to buy, untold numbers of special meals to prepare, decorating, house guests, parties to attend (don't forget the hostess gift!) church activities, neighborhood events, school productions and a partridge in a pear tree.
It's exhausting, isn't it? And add to that the fact that the last couple of years have been financially disappointing for most of us and it's no wonder we got a heavy feeling in the pit of our stomachs when the calendar page flipped over to November.
Life is about to get a lot more expensive, as if it hasn't been bad enough this year already.
As Christians, we tend to feel guilty just thinking about the price tag that comes along with the Christmas season. After all, this is a time to be focused on gratitude for all that God has blessed us with, especially the fact that He sent His Son so that we might be saved.
It's just not very spiritual to think about money during this blessed time.
Actually, I think it is.
During the time of year we celebrate the ultimate gift of the freedom we have in Christ, I think it's healthy to explore why we feel like we're in bondage in so many other areas, like our money.
It's okay to acknowledge that things don't look the way we would like them to. It's productive to take some time to sit back and ask, "Why does my money -- and my life -- look and feel so yucky right now?"
You could plaster a plastic smile on your face and plow through, and likely no one would be the wiser. But where, exactly, would that get you?
Mark 8:36 says, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
What will you gain by having another plastic Christmas? How will that feed your spirit and connect you more deeply to God? What will you really accomplish if you forge ahead with credit cards in hand, charging your way to what you hope will be a picture perfect holiday season, yet will leave you nothing more come January 2 than bills you can't pay and more levels of uncharted waters in your soul?
What if, instead of choosing to live out that candy-coated lie of the "perfect holiday season," you chose to lay hold of the abundant life Jesus told us He came to give us?
You can do just that if you will spend some time this season pressing in with the Lord and asking the questions that once answered, could really help you heal your heart, not to mention your finances.
I believe that as believers in Christ, most of the struggles we have in our lives stem from Counterfeit Convictions, misconceptions about what the Bible says and what God's will for our lives really looks like.
The tricky thing about Counterfeit Convictions is that they usually stem from some kind of truth. In most cases, a Biblical truth gets polluted in our minds by lies we hear out in the world, lies we choose to believe about ourselves, or both.
God has promised us in Jeremiah 29:11that He has amazing plans for each of our lives, plans to "prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." So when our lives don't line up with that promise, our human tendency is to ask God why. It's a good question to ask, but it is coming from the wrong perspective. Instead of asking God why His promises don't seem to be true in our lives, we should be asking God what we're doing to keep those promises from coming to fruition.
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