Rogers column: Christmas season a time for change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Regina Rogers
For The Salisbury Post
Christmas. That time of the year when we anticipate getting together with family and friends, sharing good food and opening presents. A time when we remember Christmas past, share memories of a loved one that is no longer with us and give thanks for our many blessings. A time when each of us can act like children, whether it’s in the watching of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or in the tearing open of our presents.
It’s a busy time of year. We have to shop, attend choir rehearsals to practice the cantata, and learn our lines for the Christmas program, in addition to being present for those practices. And so it goes. Year after year. Before we know it, it’s New Year’s Eve and we find ourselves making a resolution to make a change that we fail to carry through to the end of the month. What’s the point?
The point is that it’s time for a change. Change? Yes, it’s often a hard thing to do, but it’s not a bad thing. If we live long enough, we find that change is inevitable. Our hair changes color and even comes out altogether. Wrinkles and lines form on the face. Health issues prompt us to focus on taking our medicine and cutting out foods we previously enjoyed.
Even so, we are a blessed people. As a result, we have been able to give. Yet, in the blessing we have developed a “me” attitude, an attitude of selfishness. We’ve become consumed with having everything that the Joneses have. There’s nothing wrong with having, but it is wrong to store up treasures for ourselves, while neglecting the needs of others.
Matthew 22:37-39 tells us that we are to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
I recall the story of a young lady and her boyfriend who visited a church one Sunday evening. As prayers were lifted for various people, one man in the congregation stood and remarked that they should not pray for so-and-so because they were living together outside of marriage. This young lady and her boyfriend decided not to return to church, as they were living together outside of marriage. Yes, this is sin as it is fornication (refer to I Corinthians 6:9-20). At the same time, the sin of self-righteousness stood in the way of introducing the truths of Jesus Christ to this young couple. These truths could have changed their lives forever, as well as many other lives influenced by them.
Maybe, just maybe, this season of Christmas is the perfect time for us to make some changes. After all, it is the time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, whom God sent into the world that the world might be saved (John 3:16-17, paraphrased). What love God the Father and God the Son have for us! Is it too much to ask that we love as Christ loves us?
We’re experiencing tough times and will face more. Many across our country have already had to make some drastic changes. Many of us may have to do the same.
Change requires a sincere commitment that can only come from the heart. It has to be more than an “I know I need to” or an “I want to.”
It requires that one be true to self and faithful to God.
Take a good look at your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal any changes that are needed in your life and for His help in making those changes. While you’re at it, ask Him how you can change the lives of others. Doing that will change your life! Isn’t that what Christ asks us to do? After all, He came that we all might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Aspiring writer Regina Rogers lives in Rowan County.