One of my least favorite songs at Christmas time is “Last Christmas.” Somehow this song that has nothing to do with Christmas tops the charts every year. And with the remakes, we are often faced with hearing that song over the loudspeaker multiple times as we make our way through the mall or local store.
But as I was writing this post, the lyrics, “Last Christmas I gave you my heart; the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special,” took on a whole new meaning. Read on to see how!
Peace—the message of Christmas. In this season of Christmas where we are met with songs that speak of “peace on earth,” and we reflect on scripture like Isaiah 9:6…
For to us a child is born,
To us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
…can we really hope for peace? And has it ever really existed?
As I think about peace in my own home, I can see so clearly the things that rob us of our peace.
Many times it is the lies in life. Sometimes they are lies that we tell ourselves like “life will be better if….” or “I am not good enough…” or “mom and dad always treat him/her better than me.”
These types of lies are truly a challenge for today’s young people. In this Instagram, TikTok, SnapChat and even Be Real world, it is easy for our our kids to believe the lie that the lives reflected on screen are real. That the doctored-up images of flawless hair, faces, muscles, and figures are real. That the laughter and silliness in those Be Real moments reflect the daily lives of those posting. And that the thousands of friends on those accounts are true friends. These lies have robbed our young people of their peace.
Sometimes it is our order of priorities. How often do we organize our priorities around things that don’t really matter? How often do we miss an opportunity to experience a moment of peace, connection, and love because we are busy chasing a priority that belongs at the bottom of our list?
Sometimes it is our desire to look good to others, or even worse to look good to God through work and service, gifts, and outward appearances. If we are honest, these are the things that often create conflict, stress and angst at home.
How often does our desire to look like we have it all together rob our children and spouses of their peace?
And what about the worry that so often plagues us? Worry about security; worry about our kids; worry about what tomorrow will bring; maybe even worry about how things will go with the family together for Christmas?
Worry for worry’s sake changes nothing except our ability to experience peace.
One of the greatest impacts to peace is that insatiable desire for something that we just can’t quite name or reach. It is that seeking without finding that robs us of our peace.
Because no matter what someone is looking for; if they believe they lack it; if they believe they are without it; if they believe they need it, they will lack peace.
How much of what we are searching for is truly what we need? How often are we looking in the wrong place? And just how difficult is the search when we aren’t quite sure what it is we are searching for?
The stoic Philosopher Epictetus said, “While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.”
You see, peace on earth is not just about a world without war, conflict, or anger. It is much more about peace of heart. And that peace of heart is what will impact the world around us.
So where do we find that peace of heart?
Is it in the lyrics of Last Christmas? Does it come from giving our heart to someone special?
I believe that to find peace of heart, you must seek the one who created the heart. Because peace is not a place, a circumstance or a situation, it is a person.
“Peace is Jesus. Fully God and fully man, where creation and Creator are one. He is the Prince of Peace.”Chad Strausbaugh
As much as we like to think that if we just had complete control, we would have peace, that is not where peace comes from. And that internal war for peace is one that will continue to rage until you make a deliberate decision to find peace in the only place it can be found.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You.”
What if this year, the person you gave your heart to was Jesus? What if you surrendered the fight and instead seek the peace; give your heart to the one who created it? Now that would be someone truly special!
True peace comes from our Creator. And to find it, we must first make the decision to seek him.
This Christmas, I pray that you and your family find peace!