It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

You don’t have to hang around me very long to know that I do love Christmas so very much.

Truth be told, I have a hard time understanding why anyone wouldn’t…

…the music, mistletoe, bright lights on perfectly shaped trees, funny/beautiful yards, Santa, dazzling gifts, welcoming wreaths, good-natured holiday movies (Die Hard notwithstanding), and so on.

Yet, it seems to me, that very many people participate in Christmas but really don’t like it at all. I base this opinion on people watching in three simple settings:

  • mall parking lots
  • superstore checkout counters, and
  • requisite office parties

Simply put, some people go plum crazy (certifiably!) this time of year in those kinds of settings. It’s like they totally forget who they are or that anyone else truly exists or matters in the world.

In the moment…

  • that parking space – only 3 spaces closer to the door than the next one – becomes a win/lose battle for world domination over a driver they have never met before
  • the checkout clerk becomes a tyrant who lives only to cheat you out of a .25 coupon on a $50 purchase, and
  • the people you work with every day become arch enemies of comic book proportion in a battle for the attention of the overlord you call ‘boss’

Reality gets lost in a surreal fantasy universe where it is ‘me against the world’… to be right, best, tops, winner, greatest gift-giver – this is what it’s all about!

Yet, for those of us who follow the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, maybe there’s more to it than just being ‘right’ or best.

One of the guys I learn from every month is Dr. Keith Webb. Keith is a Professional Certified Coach and author of The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

In a recent blog he raised the question, “How are you right?”

His point seemed so timely that, with permission, I wanted to publish it here:

How you are ‘right’ is more important than being ‘right’.

Early in my marriage, my wife and I were arguing about something. We each thought we were right. I was right. Finally, after a bit of a verbal battle, I won. She reluctantly admitted that I was right. Victory!

But I still slept on the sofa that night. This is when I learned the difference between “being right” and “how I am right”.

“Being right” is a matter of facts. It’s the right answer, statistic, or information. It can be fact-checked on the Internet. Facts are cold and emotion-less.

“How I am right” is a matter of opinion. It’s about the social interaction that takes place during the conversation (or argument). It’s about the tone of voice, body language and attitudes I demonstrate. These things generate a lot of emotions.

I’m reminded of Philippians 2, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard [others] as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…”

How will I be right in humility? With kindness? With respect?

–Keith

The challenge I received from Keith’s post – and offer to you for these days is this: As you drive about mall parking lots, wait in superstore checkout lines, and attend those obligatory parties, push past the facts and see the emotions around you and within you.

Give attention to them.

Embrace the example of the Christ of Christmas who, though “He had equal status with God [He] didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges….” (Philippians 2: 5-8, –the message)

Push past the facts. At least sometimes (maybe, these times) remember that “How you are ‘right’ is more important than being ‘right’.”

Merry Christmas!

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About christmasandicecream

Grace & Peace to you all! I'm Randy. I am a follower of Jesus - sometimes close up and, sadly, sometimes way too far away. My best friend, administrative assistant, partner, and high school sweetheart all live with me and go by the same name: Adele. She and I are part of a relationally-focused, small group based Church family that helps us along spiritual quest. Our boys are both grown now. We have a wonderful daughter-by-marriage and 2 truly GRANDchildren... 1 boy and 1 girl. We are Corgi people and now oversee the care of 1 spoiled Corgi puppy named Elly May. I am a devoted fan of 2 'seasons' in each year: Christmas and baseball!! At my house, a Christmas tree goes up somewhere within days of the close of the Fall Classic (baseball lingo for the World Series) and a Christmas tree stays up all the way through Spring Training. In between it is non-stop celebration of the Incarnation. I live in the Mid-Atlantic part of the U.S.A. and, among other things, work as a coach and consultant with an incredibly diverse network of churches that make up the BCMD. My Church-roots are in the Baptist bucket of the Christian ice cream shop. But, just because I have a favorite flavor, doesn't mean I don’t like them all! I do. I work with things like soul care & leadership development of pastor/pastoral team members; with small, simple, organic models of church life; with relational strategies of spiritual formation; and with the health of the Church. I taught at New Orleans seminary for a decade and have served in local churches for 30 years. I am currently part of the faculty of Rockbridge Seminary – a new kind of seminary for a new kind of Church – where I also play a role on the Academic Council. *I am obliged to note that questions, comments, ideas, views,... just about anything you read here, are mine, and not those of BCMD, RS, any other organization or school I work for, or those of most normal people. Thanks for visiting. Come back again.
This entry was posted in RestDay Reflections, simple QUESTions and random thoughts, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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