Christmas Contentment - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Everyday Living Faith
December 18, 2017

Christmas Contentment

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year filled with lots of fun, warm fuzzy feelings, family, food, and festivities. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a happy and joyful occasion that is worth looking forward to every year. However, it’s not always a blissful and calm season.

The downside to Christmas-time comes in the hustle and bustle of commercialism. Everywhere you look, there are commercials telling you how much you need a brand new car, billboards with flashy colors advertising the hottest toy this season, or a slick salesman at the mall talking you into a mixer you know you’ll never use. There is even a whole day dedicated to this. Isn’t it ironic that it’s right after we give thanks for all we’ve been graciously given?

It’s always sad to see that people are willing to fight and even kill others that stand between them and their “stuff.” This hunger for the bigger and better might seem normal because everyone is doing it, but “stuff” has taken over our lives. When is enough, enough?

This wanting and craving stems from a lack of contentment. We are not willing to settle for anything mediocre. We must throw the best Christmas dinners, purchase the most extravagant gifts for our friends, and outdo ourselves every year. It’s very difficult at this time of year to be thankful and content with what we have and where we are in life.

For students, this might be being content with the grades you worked for instead of wishing for the grades of a classmate. It’s hard to be content when you see someone else excel in a class in which you struggle just to get by. Jealousy and discontentment that can come from wishing you had things other people have. However, all of this wishing and longing leads only to sadness and anger.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” As we know, when we leave this world, we won’t be able to take anything with us. This is important to keep in mind when we are confronted with the commercialism of the holiday season. Our “stuff” isn’t going to get us into heaven. God loves us and gives us everything we need, even when we feel like it isn’t enough. What God provides in our lives is enough, and we should be grateful.

One activity that I find helps me when I see others with things I wish I had is to count all the things God has blessed me with. Sometimes they are small things, like eating a hearty meal, but those are things that other people in this world do not have. Usually what I find when I do this is my list grows a lot longer than I thought it would. This helps me to shake off the jealousy I feel and instead be filled with thanks when I list out all of my blessings.

The annoying commercials, Black Friday mall-madness, and one-upping people might be hard to avoid this Christmas season, but be comforted that God has given us exactly what we need to get through and we can be content with that. Instead of pleading with God for wants, praise Him for his gracious giving in our lives.

Christ-centered education teaches us lessons in contentment, not just at Christmas but throughout all seasons and all of life. Check out Geneva College where Christian faith in all things is taught and nurtured – admissions@geneva.edu | 800-847-8255.

-Jocelyn Englehart ‘18