Do you ever find yourself feeling a little down over the holidays? Years ago I hit a real low at Christmas when I cheated.
Yep, that’s right. I cheated.
I had tipped toed into the living room where our Christmas tree with all our gifts stood in glorious array. Mom, Dad, and my siblings were sound asleep. I carefully picked up the package with my name on it and stole away to the far reaches of the house.
Alone in a corner of the rumpus room, I strategically opened the box without tearing one piece of tape.
The box was the right size and shape to hold a new bathrobe. I desperately wanted a new bathrobe. Why? I really don’t know. When I was around 8 years old, all I wanted for Christmas was a bathrobe.
I was sure the brightly wrapped package held my new bathrobe. But I had to check.
I slowly lifted the lid on the box and peeked inside.
It wasn’t a bathrobe.
To this day, I can’t remember what was in the box. I only remember that it wasn’t a bathrobe. And I was devastated.
And I honest don’t remember anything else about that Christmas. Only my 8 year old disappointment.
I had run into the wall of unmet expectations
Are your expectations in danger of spoiling your Christmas?
- Someone in your family disappoints you. Big time.
- Your perfect dinner is ruined by an oven that dies right in the middle of cooking your Christmas turkey.
- Your kids aren’t coming home for Christmas.
- You went through a messy divorce this year and don’t know how to survive the “most wonderful time of the year.”
- You get sick … or one of your kids gets sick … and you have to cancel the annual trip to grandma’s.
- Your budget can’t afford Christmas.
Anytime we place the source for our peace and joy on other people or things, we will be disappointed. Because you can’t control people and things.
You can only control yourself. (You’ve figured that out by now, right?)
As Captain Jack Sparrow once said,
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.
How to adjust your unmet expectations attitude problem
So … time to remember that attitude changes happen best when done with the Holy Spirit’s involvement.
- Ask the Spirit to help you adjust to the disappointment by giving you His perspective.
- Take any thought that doesn’t reflect the Lord’s way of thinking captive. Grab on to that ugly thought and stare it in the face. Tell it to go take it’s negative reasonings elsewhere.
- Refuse to go down the path of self-pity, frustration, anger, or blame shifting in your mind or in your heart.
- Look for a positive way to handle the situation and then do it!
- Remember that people are watching how you respond. You want them to have a good memory of the situation … at least from you.
If you do the above, you’ll be building a spiritual legacy you can be proud of.
Now, may all your expectations for Christmas come true. And if they don’t … you know what to do.
What unmet expectations have landed in your lap at Christmas time? How have you handled such disappointments? Drop us a note in the comment section below this blog post.
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“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know … all of your friends would be nice.