When Holiday Expectations Influence Our Attitude

attitudeWe are told not to overdo, but when few step forward to help, it can quickly give us a bad attitude. Diane explains.

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. ‘Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:38, 40).

During this wonderful time that we celebrate the joy of the birth of our Savior there are often activities with our family and friends to enjoy. As I was reading this scripture something occurred to me. Anytime Jesus went anywhere, it was not a small gathering.

Nope! There were twelve additional men tagging along, not to mention all the other followers wanting just to listen and be near Him. Not that I’d blame them–I think I’d be right there alongside them, clamoring for a spot at His feet, just as Martha’s sister Mary did.

Which brings me to my point: Martha, who eagerly opened her home to Jesus and all His entourage, started with a right attitude. She gave loving serving, (vs. 38) but soon, due to the stress and preparations, she was overwhelmed (vs. 40).

Then Jesus lovingly corrects her, teaching her that her heart and attitude needs an adjustment (vs.41). Being chronically ill, I can empathize with Martha’s feelings.

I begin with the best of intentions and a good attitude, when hosting a family gathering, babysitting, or when attending an event. Soon, however, due to the stress, fatigue, or pain, I find that attitude changing–just as Martha’s did.

What to do?

I’m slowly learning, through trial and error, to “commit with a clause”–dependent on my health. The biggest thing Jesus is teaching me is, that when I find that my attitude faltering, I can feel the Holy Spirit nudge me. And then I apologize to the one I may have offended. I explain my mistake in overestimating my abilities, and ask for forgiveness. I let them know it was them who caused the frustration, but myself.

During this time of increased activities, let us ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment. It is best to allow Jesus’ love to shine!

Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for the many opportunities You give us to open our hearts , and even our homes, to share Your love with others. I pray, Lord–for us all–that we would seek Your wisdom beforehand, learning not to overextend, but also that we would be obedient of what You ask of us. Let us remember that whatever we do is to be done in love, and to be as if serving You, just as Martha and Mary did. Be with us, Lord. Speak to our hearts with Your Holy Spirit. Let us truly shine brightly for You, not just during this season, but always. Amen.

About the author:
Diane Kalata, lives in Central Florida, she is blessed to have a wonderful husband, who is also her caregiver in illness, three grown children, and 3 grandchildren! She is a cancer survivor, but continues to deal with chronic digestive and neuropathic issues. She loves art and writing. Her desire is to continually be an encouragement to others; looking daily for those “God opportunities” to share His love and truth with others.

When you feel your joy in serving waning and your stress starting to influence your thoughts and words, how do you turn it back around?

This is “Give This Christmas Away” with Matthew West with Amy Grant, featuring Operation Christmas Child. Instead of clinging to our list–trying to have the perfect meals and snacks, have the right decorations, have the carpets cleaned and the right outfit–just give Christmas away. Let it be about who is being blessed by you. And I know . . . when I am yelling “I need some help here! We’re not going to make it!” I may be carrying on my mom’s tradition, but no one is being blessed! I will try. How about you? -Lisa

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