My twin sister and I were about seven years old when we found out there was no Santa Claus. My older sister, Shay, decided one day that she needed to enlighten us. My twin, Christina, took it pretty well. She was happy to be “in-the-know” and that she had a little secret of understanding about the grown-up world.
I, on the other hand, was devestated! My imagination was pretty much streamlined with my reality. The entire adult world tantalized me with images of Santa Claus, reindeer, elves and the North Pole; and my heart couldn’t understand why I had been lied to all my life.
To say I was heartbroken would be a severe understatement. My mom knew me and my flair for the fanciful, so she sat me down and told me a story about a man named Nick who gave toys to little boys and girls who didn’t have much.
What?! My little mind shouted. That doesn’t even compare!
Needless to say, her story didn’t help. It was like accepting a candy cane in exchange for a virtual candy land. I cried.
I tell this story not to dig up hurt feelings from the past (although, astonishingly, I still harbor a little resentment — which I should probably let go). I tell this story to illustrate how differently God created each of us.
My twin and I have the same DNA and we were raised in the same home, yet we had completely different outtakes on the Santa unveiling. We feel life in our own personal ways, and the Holy Spirit interacts with us accordingly, which brings me to my holiday point. . . .
People are asked to obey a core set of commandments set in place by God. God created these laws because without them, the world would be absolute chaos. However, these commandments are for any Joe Schmoe. The Holy Spirit also convicts each Christian with tailor made commandments. The Holy Spirit knows our design, our past, our environment, our season and our purpose, and constructs a law-perimeter for our lives that will help rocket us towards our goals. Laws are meant to push us towards blessings and Christ-likeness; they are not just a frustrating set of rules to make our lives miserable!
Christians make two big mistakes when it comes to how the Holy Spirit convicts them (or establishes their tailor made law-perimeter): 1) We push our convictions on others 2) We feel guilty when we compare our convictions with others.
God has given each of us a set of laws that He wants us to abide by. We have to make an exerted effort not to take His expectations for us and place them on other people. We are not the Holy Spirit and our viewpoints are very limited. We have not walked in anyone else’s shoes but our own. If God wants to use us to convict others, so be it. If people get mad, they should take it up with Him. . . . I’m sure He’ll be more than happy to offer grace, provide comfort and pour on the peace!
Moreover, we must not look at others and their convictions and feel guilty that we are not doing the same thing. Comparisons can be devastating, and we would be better off if we just compared ourselves to how God sees us. God has a unique plan for each of us, and that plan comes with varying law-perimeters.
So during this holiday season, ask the Holy Spirit what are your tailor made commandments. Make a list, and try to follow them. Don’t push them on others and don’t feel guilty if yours are different than others. And when you get your list (which will change, so keep adjusting), be happy! Whatever you give up for God, He promises to bless you more than you can possibly imagine!
Don’t forfeit God’s blessings by seeking what the world has to offer — it would be like giving up the virtual candy land for a petty candy cane.
Read the below verses out loud and proclaim them! You can stand firm on all of God’s promises. Just imagine the possibilities!!!
If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:
God’s blessing inside the city,
God’s blessing in the country;
God’s blessing on your children,
the crops of your land,
the young of your livestock,
the calves of your herds,
the lambs of your flocks.
God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl;
God’s blessing in your coming in,
God’s blessing in your going out.
7 God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They’ll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.
8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he’ll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.
9 God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.
Deuteronomy 28.1-9 (The Message)