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Prioritizing Relational Investments

There are a bazillion little catch phrases that we use this time of year to direct our focus where it should be. “Jesus is the reason for the season” gains quite a bit of traction with each Christmas season as we endeavor to prevent the busyness of November and December from steamrolling our lives. And that phrase is absolutely true! But if you’re like me, you convince yourself that “it’s just a short season” and then we’ll “get back to normal.” Sadly, getting back to normal often takes its toll on our own lives and the relationships we care so deeply about. We allow so many unnecessary things to clutter our days and distract us from the people who need a relational investment from us.

I’d like to suggest a couple of questions that we can ask ourselves when we are knee-deep in the Christmas activities that have filled our calendars.

Is participating in this holiday activity really how I want to spend my time? There are parties, events, plays and other Christmas-type activities that could literally consume every day of our lives from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. Are most parties fun? Yes. Are all events necessary? No. While you and I may want to be involved in every fun thing, is it the best use of our time? We need to consider limiting our outings and events so that we can give our best to those we love the most.

How do I keep my vital relationships a priority in the midst of holiday attention stealers? We don’t have to spend hours each day investing in those closest to us. Some days we can spend that amount of time and that is fantastic! But, I have found that when we make a little time each day, we’ll be surprised on just how much return there is on such a contribution. It really is that simple.

For the most part, the relationships in your life may be in a healthy place. But some of you have those lingering, negative feelings about that person you still need to forgive. Or that person whose actions cause you to roll your eyes and exhale a long sigh because you wonder if they’ll ever change. If forgiveness is in order, tell me, what is it that keeps you from offering it to another? And if it’s not forgiveness, would you be willing to ask your Heavenly Father what it is that makes you so annoyed by certain individuals? Chances are strong that it has nothing to do with them but more to do with you.

Stings a bit, doesn’t it? I so get it. But we must allow the Holy Spirit to excavate the bitter places in our hearts in every area of our lives so that we can live life to the fullest. And not just in November and December but for the entire year.

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The views and opinions expressed in this posting are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Alpha University.

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