Christmas Isn't for Cowards
I love the spirit of Christmas with all its hope and cheer. A lot of people agree. That’s why this time of year is the favorite of so many folks!
But when you stop to think about it, the first Christmas wasn’t filled with sweetness and happiness. Getting to that day took grit, determination…and a lot of courage.
Take Joseph, for instance. He was a godly man, engaged to Mary. Joseph thought she was as godly as him, but then she turned up pregnant! Joseph knew the baby wasn’t his…so who’s was it?!
Being a good guy, he struggled when deciding how to respond. One day as he was considering what to do…
…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
– Matthew 1:20 (NLT)
Can you imagine how Joseph felt when the angel spoke to him? Those words must have been very comforting. But he wasn’t the only one that had questions! Joseph’s parents weren’t visited by an angel. Neither were Mary’s. Their rabbi didn’t get a visit, either. How do you think these people reacted?
Joseph’s first thought was to walk away from Mary. That would have been easier than facing skeptics along the way. But it wouldn’t have been right!
The right thing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Very often, the right thing takes a lot of courage. Joseph understood this, so he chose to believe and honor God, and move forward with his marriage plans.
Do you have what it takes respond correctly…even when it’s not easy? Do you have the grit to follow through at your job, in your relationships…and even in everyday life…when no one is watching? You may be surprised at the ways your determination can be tested!
A personal friend recently discovered that a co-worker was embezzling from their employer. The embezzler offered my friend a share of the money to keep quiet. Saying nothing would have been easy…and lucrative. But he declined the offer.
How you respond in situations like this define your life. They show your true character. When circumstances like this come up, do you summon your courage and do the right thing? I certainly hope so!
Right now some of you have big choices to make. It could be you’re like Joseph, deciding between separation and staying together. Maybe you’re like my friend…debating about how to handle a thorny problem at work.
We’re regularly faced with hard situations that take courage to get through. When this happens, go to God! He wants to help. He promised to give us strength to move forward with what we know is right.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
– Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)
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