Put on Some Spiritual Pounds This Christmas

by Sandra Kay Chambers

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:23-24 NLT

Like a bear preparing for winter hibernation, I always seem to gain at least five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those buttery homemade mashed potatoes and rolls on the table always beg for seconds. And the cookies and fudge that show up everywhere—at the office, at church, and at all those holiday parties—further weaken my resistance.

In addition to gaining weight, the holidays highlight another aspect of my love/hate relationship with the season. The real meaning of Christmas can easily get buried beneath the outward trappings—not that they are all bad. I love the atmosphere of celebration that surrounds the season: the decorations and lights, time spent with family and friends, concerts and parties, and the generous spirit of giving that comes to life. What I don’t like is the over-the-top commercialism that begins in October.

This year I’ve decided to approach both the weight issue and commercialism with a different tactic. I’m not going to focus on the few pounds I’m gaining during the season. I’m also not going to focus on feeling guilty for enjoying some of the outward trappings of the holidays. What I am going to do is to focus on putting on some spiritual “pounds,” which I define as growth that helps me demonstrate God’s peace and joy.

The upcoming Advent season is the perfect opportunity to slow down and redefine priorities. When our focus drifts to ourselves or the season itself, we can determine to turn to God and His Word and the real meaning of the season.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people.” Luke 2:9-10 NIV

“Advent” means “the coming, or arrival of something.” As Christians, we celebrate the coming of the promised Christ Child. The good news that the angels proclaimed promised “great joy for all people.” This joy is more than happiness; it is rooted in a deep peace that God gives to those who wait upon Him.

We can put on some spiritual pounds this holiday season by spending time reading the Word, praying, and reflecting on God’s gift of a tiny babe in a manger who grew up to become our Savior and the Savior of the world.

And when our focus is centered on God, we become living examples of God’s love, peace, and joy in the midst of the craziness around the holiday season. So, while enjoying the decorations, parties, gift giving and other outward trappings, may we keep our hearts centered and full of praise and thanksgiving for the true gift of God. We then become examples to a world that is looking for the real JOY of the season.

About the author: Sandra Kay Chambers’ personal goal is to “Pray Often! Inspire Others! Create Beauty!” From this foundation, she pens articles, blogs and books to encourage Christians in their personal walk with God.

Sandra has a passion to help kids understand how uniquely created and loved by God they are. Through picture books and her kids’ devotional, Fingerprint Devotions (coming out in 2023), Sandra encourages them to discover their God-given purpose in life. Her award-winning adult study, Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet: How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life, was birthed from her personal practice as a prayer warrior and prayer encourager. Discover more about Sandra at sandrakaychambers.com.

Join the conversation: How will you put on some spiritual pounds this holiday season?

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