Deck the halls and jingle the bells! It’s time for THE DREADED FAMILY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION. Your Uncle Bill will be highly obnoxious, as usual. Your cousin’s five kids will run wild and unattended. Your Grandpa Joe will tell the story that he has told eighty-five times before. Your mother-in-law will be critical of your every move, including your technique for carving the ham. Your stomach muscles will draw up and twist into the shape of a beautiful Christmas bow.
Here’s a crazy thought… What if YOU could change the experience for everybody? What if YOUR PRESENCE could make the event better? What if YOU could set the temperature for the family gathering rather than just react to it?
Think of it like being a THERMOSTAT instead of a THERMOMETER.
- A THERMOMETER REACTS to the temperature in the room. It assesses the situation and then records the temperature. If it’s 68 degrees in the room, the thermometer will say 68. Whatever is happening in the room determines what the thermometer will do.
- A THERMOSTAT SETS the temperature in the room. It assesses the situation and then takes action to change the temperature, if it is not accurate. If it’s 68 degrees in the room and it’s supposed to be 70, the thermostat will cause the heating unit to kick on. The thermostat determines what will happen in the room.
So try this… When you arrive at your family Christmas celebration, assess the situation. Is the temperature accurate? What’s missing? Love? Joy? Peace? Then, be a thermostat and do what you can to set the temperature to a pleasant level.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).