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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.

The holidays can be a time for families and friends to come together to share laughter, love and a great time together. Or it can be a time of tension, conflict and disappointment. So this holiday season, I want to share with you six do’s and don’ts to help you experience a wonderful time with your family and friends during the holidays.

#1 Don’t Come Prepared to Do Battle

To have a great experience over the holidays it’s best to leave your boxing gloves at home. Visiting family and friends during the holidays is not the place to settle scores or push buttons. It’s a time for reconciling not annihilating.

Romans 12:18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

In order to have a great experience over the holidays take the challenge to be a peacemaker with your family and friends.

#2 Don’t Have Too High of Expectations

Have you ever wondered why Southwest Airlines is always rated so high in customer satisfaction when all the give away is peanuts? Maybe it is because they set the expectation bar so low that anything above that feels like a win. If you want to have a meaningful holiday you need to be realistic about what to expect for the holidays. During the holidays all relationships are not going to be reconciled and all conflicts are not going to be fixed.

#3 Don’t Try to Fix Everyone

Don’t play Dr. Phil during the holidays.  I don’t know what happens with some people during the holidays. They like to help, they want to be supportive, so they put on their Dr. Phil hat and set out fixing people. The truth is, most people don’t like feeling that they are someone’s fixer-upper project. Instead of trying to fix people, why don’t you take the opportunity to listen to them more and try to understand them better and try to leave fixing people to God.

#4 Serve

What a difference it would make if you had an attitude adjustment before you went to your friends or relatives for the holidays. Don’t go there to be served, to be catered to, to be taken care of…go their to serve and to help.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Can you imagine what a difference it would make if you saw yourself as a servant and made it your goal to serve your family and friends during the holidays. Remember that you are a Christian which means little Christ. Be a servant to your friends and family as a little example of Jesus to people.

#5 Do Good

It seems like every family has a Scrooge. That “bah-humbug” person, always negative and complaining. Take the opportunity to do good to those God puts in your path.   

2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

Do you remember when everyone would ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” Jesus would use the holidays as a way to do as much good to people as possible. Holidays can be a special time to care for one another. Pick a person a day and do something good for them

#6 Share

The holidays often give opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people. You can do this in two ways. Share the love of Jesus by genuinely caring for people and also share the love of Jesus by talking to them about him.

1 Thessalonians 2:8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Read Romans 12:18. Why do you think God wants us to be at peace with people? 
  4.  Do you like it when someone tries to fix you? Explain
  5.  Read Mark 10:45 and share an area you could work on to be a better servant.
  6. What are your expectations for family and friend gatherings for the holiday?
  7. What keeps you from doing good for others?
  8. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:3 and share one way you can demonstrate good to one of your friends or family members this holiday season.
  9. Of the list of six items listed above which one could you work on and why?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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