So, how do we demonstrate a different spirit, a Christ-likeness, this sacred season? Paul outlines 9 guidelines that come from our daily, intimate walk with Jesus. They helped me not lose it when lady after lady sought to become shopping cart ‘road-kill’ … not to mention the problems in the parking lot or on the streets and freeways! He says …
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. ” (Philippians 2:1–4, The Message)
1. Agree with each other – everyone’s in a hurry. Just accept it.
2. Love each other – sacrifice a little discomfort for the sake of others.
3. Be deep-spirited friends – see the offender as if they are you closest friend.
4. Don’t push your way to the front – let someone else check out first.
5. Don’t sweet-talk your way to the top – don’t make excuses as to why you have to go first.
6. Put yourself aside – anger reflects I am not doing this.
7. Help others get ahead – give the better spot, gift, or advantage to another.
8. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage – after all, you are not the center of the universe, are you?
9. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand – your shopping list will keep. Help the other person who seems lost or asks you for help.
While these are meant to be guidelines within the fellowship of Jesus Christ (the Community of the Spirit), they are a great help to me with all people. Perhaps you will also desire to do more than ‘give them a break’ this Christmas. Perhaps you will be willing to radiate the love of Jesus to those who don’t necessarily deserve it. After all, that’s what Jesus did for us when he came in the manger and died on the cross, right?
What do you think? I’d love to hear!