Love, Joy and Peace for a Healthy Christmas
The words ‘Love, Joy and Peace’ are often used in relation to Christmas.
You might have received Christmas cards with them on, or you might have these words hung up in your window as a Christmas decoration!
Have you considered that they are actually the first three Fruits of the Spirit?!
The word ‘peace’ is also used to name Jesus himself. When he first came down to this earth as a baby he was named ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace’. And one of the last things Jesus said when he was on this earth was “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27).
So, Love, Joy and Peace are BIG words and BIG gifts, and it can really help us to let these presents from God filter into our lives at Christmas time, to help us to have a healthy, balanced Christmas.
So, how can we use them to be healthier?
We know that Christmas is a time for spreading love for those we know who are near us, and to those who aren’t with us. But it’s also a time for sharing love with those we don’t know as well, including strangers.
In the run-up to Christmas you may have been involved in packing gift boxes to give to charity, supporting food banks, sending parcels to your neighbours; a lot of what we do around Christmastime comes out of love. But do we have the love and respect for ourselves that God sent his son to give us? We need to offer ourselves complete grace and forgiveness and not put any pressure on ourselves this Christmastime.
Crazy as it sounds, we can see Christmas as a time of pressure. God would surely not want it to be that way for us, but it can very much feel like that when you’ve got cards to write, presents to get, decisions about what to buy online and what you need to make a trip to the shops to get. Particularly this, year, when there’s some pressure to make it the best it can be, under the circumstances.
But who are we trying to please? God certainly doesn’t put any pressure on us to create a ‘perfect’ Christmas; he loves us just as we are.
There’s no need to try harder to with our preparations to please him, because he’s already well pleased with us; there’s nothing we can do to make him prouder of us. So, if you’re feeling the pressure, it’s worth stopping to ask yourself who is putting that on you, because it’s certainly not God.
We all need to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves in body, spirit and soul this Christmas; make sure that you aren’t putting yourself to the bottom of the list, because God most certainly isn’t! He sent his baby son for you, because he loves you so much and he asked you to love yourself too.
When was the last time you danced or sang for pleasure, for pure joy, or did something that you really love because it makes you happy?
God designed us to be joyful and to enjoy what he has created.
When was the last time you were exercising, inside or outside, that you really appreciated what your body can do and felt the joy in that exercise? Sometimes exercise can feel a bit of a burden, we know we should do it but perhaps is not as much joy there as there could be. So, next time you exercise, really enjoy the fact that your body can do these things: it can move so you can walk, or run, or do a class; whatever it is, take joy in that.
When it comes to food God could have designed us to not actually need to eat. He is perfectly capable of that!!
He could have just made some tablets or little pellets or something for us to eat that would include everything that our bodies need. But no, he invented such a wide variety of foods for our pleasure and for us to enjoy.
So, this Christmas time, enjoy your food. Enjoy the smells, the taste and take pleasure in it.
Make sure you feel peace with what you’re eating and the decisions that you make over Christmas time.
There’s no point eating foods that make you feel guilty, worried, or ill. You want to eat and enjoy and feel peaceful. Make sure that you are allowing God to be in control of the way that you see food and in the way that you eat food.
We know that Jesus feasted and he fasted, but that he was always in control and always allowed God to be his master. And so our challenge this Christmas is just to feel peaceful with our choices. If you’re going to feel guilty or stuffed, walk away! But when you choose to enjoy, then enjoy!
Allow these three words: Love, Joy and Peace to filter down into how you look after your body, spirit and soul so that you can enjoy the healthier Christmas that God came down from Heaven to give you.
If you haven’t received our ’50 Wonderful Ways to End the Year Well’ Freebie then grab it now!