Sunday, January 29, 2023

Holiday Compassion

By Joe Slater


    I hope you have the happiest holiday in history! (How’s that for alliteration?) Seriously, I want nothing, including this article, to detract from your genuine enjoyment of the whole holiday season.

    That being said, please show compassion toward the many for whom holidays are, to say the least, difficult. The anniversary of a loved one’s death may come at holiday time. Even if they passed away at some other date, unwelcome feelings of loss and loneliness may flood aching hearts during holidays.

    That doesn’t mean you should feel guilty for enjoying family, food, and fun. Make those precious memories! As you do so, remember those who feel empty. A loving look, a sympathetic smile, a hug or pat on the arm may accomplish more than you realize.

    An understanding word of encouragement could be helpful. That definitely excludes tacky remarks like “get over it!” or “just move on!” Such cruel comments show the opposite of a Christ-like spirit!

    Sometimes no words are needed. Your mere presence tells the person you are there for them. Think of Job’s three friends when they came to visit him in his profound suffering; the best thing they did was remain silent an entire week. Then they started talking and things went downhill from there!

    In no less than a dozen places the Gospels specify that Jesus either showed compassion or taught His disciples to do so. May God help us to be like Jesus not only during this holiday season, but every day!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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