Dr. Jackie Minor
Preparing for Christmas #2: Believe!
Do our beliefs matter? Consider the following illustrations.
· A student believes he is poor at math. He thinks he is incapable of handling new content and often refuses to try. Contrast this with a student who believes in her math abilities. Are the thoughts and actions of these two students different because of their beliefs?
· A student believes no one likes her. She internalizes the perceived rejection and withdraws from others. Contrast this with a student who believes she can be friends with anyone. How differently do these two students think and act because of their beliefs?
Are adults any different? Think about your workplace. Would there be a difference in your thoughts and actions if you believed you were valued versus if you believed you were unappreciated? Of course! What we believe matters!
Our beliefs determine how we think and how we act. Teaching gives us a front row seat to this truth, but the same holds true for our personal lives. Granted, it is quite easy to go through our days unaware of what is actually shaping our thoughts and actions. However, our deep-seated beliefs impact our behaviors whether we are conscious of them or not.
Additionally, faith operates on the basis of belief (Hebrews 11:1). A lack of belief can weaken our faith and lead us into a downward spiral of doubt. It is unfortunate that doubt is one of those human traits we all possess. It causes us to say and do things that do not represent who we are in Christ. When I was in college, I had a plaque in my room that read, “Doubt your doubts, never your beliefs.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to be reminded of this over the years.
Given everything that has happened in 2020, it may be time to step back and reflect on how our thoughts and actions are being shaped by our deeply rooted beliefs. As December 25 approaches, reaffirming our beliefs will not only prepare us for Christmas but enable us to face a new year with hope. For Bible-believing Christians, the Christmas season represents the foundation of our faith.
When we believe in Christmas, we believe:
· Jesus, in all his deity, left Heaven to identify with us and live as one of us. Philippians 2:6-7
· Jesus came so He could seek and save the lost. Luke 19:10, John 3:17
· Jesus chose to die on a cross to take our place so we could come into the presence of God the Father now and for eternity. John 3:16, I Peter 2:24
· Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. Philippians 2: 8-11
· Jesus did not leave us alone. God sent the Holy Spirit so we could live victorious lives. John 14:26, John 16:12-15
· Jesus forgives. I John 1:9
· Jesus restores. 2 Corinthians 5:17
· Jesus loves. I John 4:8
This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, but what a list it is! Any one of these truths should fill us with joy and leave us in a state of awe!
As we prepare for Christmas, may we hold these beliefs close to our hearts. May our faith be strengthened, and may we be filled with the desire to know, enjoy, follow, and celebrate Christ. Christmas is a perfect time to remember what we genuinely believe and, as a result, live victoriously! This what Christmas is all about.
What we believe matters!