A Plea for Balance
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Proverbs 25:16
Dr. Seuss wasn't thinking of me when he wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Charles Dickens would not have asked me to play Scrooge in his A Christmas Carol. In spite of what you may read . . . remember that I'm not anti-Christmas, nor do I brandish the overused bumper sticker, "Put Christ Back into Christmas." Our family has a tree every year. We exchange presents, play Christmas CDs, sing carols, enjoy the festivities, and even wish a few people "Merry Christmas." Believe me—I have no bone to pick with the yuletide season, unless it's off the turkey.
But you'll have to agree, the season is not without its unique problems and temptations. Our lovely land of plenty drifts dangerously near insanity three or four weeks every year, and it is to that issue I'd like to address myself.
There is a "cosmic lure" to Christmas in contemporary America—a compelling something that draws many like a magnet. Emotions, unpredictable and undisciplined, begin to run wild. Nostalgia mixed with eleven months of guilt can prompt purchases that are illogical and extravagant.
Neighborhood pressure can cause houses to be strung with hundreds of lights. Television advertising, Christmas bank accounts, and special "wish books" only increase the pull of the magnet that inevitably ends with the sound of the cash register or the hollow snap of the credit card.
I remind you . . . I'm not against the basic idea of Christmas nor the beauty of the scenery. My plea is for common sense and balance; that's all. Tomorrow, I'll mention how we Christians can be alert to the dangers of the season . . . and then think through a strategy that allows us to combat each one.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. purchase "day by day" here.