Christmas stress should not be a thing. Christmas is supposed to be one of the greatest and most enjoyable times of the year.
After all, if nothing else, everyone gets a holiday from work. Well, almost everyone.
In spite of that, stress at Christmas is real.
And the biggest reason for Christmas stress is money. This is because celebrating Christmas usually takes money we don’t have.
So, like a good American, we simply put everything on credit cards and overspend.
And we feed the monster with days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The pressure is on.
To make it even easier for you to let go of your hard-earned dollars, stores don’t even ask you to visit. You can now shop from your couch at home with just one click!
It has never been easier to spend money. But it’s still money we don’t have.
But if I am a Christian, should my faith impact my spending?
After all, what about that verse that says “God shall supply all my need?” Why does it feel like my needs outweigh my money every Christmas?
What is the problem here?
There is a story in Isaiah that gives a really good picture of all of this.
So let’s go way back to 734 B.C. At that time, Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, was experiencing dark days as they were about to be invaded. King Ahaz was at his wit’s end.
God promised to supply, and He even offered a sign that He would come through. But Ahaz had his own plans.
Ahaz comes across as spiritual and essentially says, “That’s ok, God, I’ve got this.” Because he wanted immediate answers, he went to the king of Assyria for help. But Assyria was not a friend.
Not really what God had in mind.
In our day, we do the same thing. We say, “That’s ok, God. I’ve got this. I’ve pulled out my credit cards. I have discovered how to pay for Christmas, so I won’t be needing your help.”
We forget that credit cards are not our friends.
It didn’t work out so well for Ahaz. And it won’t work out well for us either.
In Ahaz’s story, those same Assyrians came back to bite him just 2 years after this crisis. And the nation suffered. The people were reduced to eating “curds and honey.”
Think yogurt and cottage cheese. Not fun.
This was the diet of a land that has been devastated to poverty.
Just think. A determination to press on with his own plans had King Ahaz taking his people to a place of poverty.
Just like today when families head out the door to spend freely with their credit cards. Then in January the bills start coming in and the kids aren’t too happy about eating beans and rice for dinner.
So why not try something different this year.
You may not be in a place where you can change your habits immediately. But start today to change the way you view about what God has given you and how you manage it.
It’s sad that King Ahaz refused to do things God’s way. His own work-arounds didn’t work.
And it’s just as sad when Christmas rolls around that we fail use what God has provided. We put our trust in Visa, and ultimately that won’t work. Start today to change the way you do Christmas. Ultimately, you will turn Christmas stress into Christmas joy.
I am Mike Henderson, speaker, author, husband of my best friend, proud father of 5, and grandfather of 6. I like to hike with my wife, golf with my kids, travel, read books, and start new projects. My purpose for this blog is to help you and to give you hope.
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