By: Tera Ertz
“12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12
“A gentle[a] tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
It’s that time of year again, when shoppers shop, carolers carol, and the people of the nation join the verbal war for Christmas. I must say, I sighed just a little today when I ran across this story at Breitbart.com today. An atheist group out in California has begun the yearly campaign against Christmas. They say they do not intend to offend, and perhaps they actually don’t understand the deep insult they present to Christians as they plaster you Know it’s a MYTH across the top of a traditional Christmas background. I do not know their hearts, and in all honesty, their intent does not matter. It is not what makes me sigh. Atheists are atheists, they reject Christ. While I may know my Savior, I also know that they are entitled to their foolishness. In fact, the same Christ I celebrate this time of year told us there would be those who would reject Him, and not to take it personally.
It is actually what is going to erupt from my fellow Christians in the next few days and over the next few months that causes the deep exhale. I am certain that just as my radio is going to bombard me with Christmas music for the next 19 days at least, my Facebook feed will be replete with Christians encouraging one another to boycott stores that say Happy Holidays in their advertising. It will be overflowing with those proudly proclaiming that they will shout “Merry Christmas” to any and all who speak such horrible, hateful words as Happy Holidays to them. I can only imagine the tone of forced cheerfulness or belligerent glee that will accompany such proclamations. My heart grows heavy as I ponder how many of my fellow Christians will fall into anger, focus on friction, and miss the preparation for the Good News that a child is given unto us for the salvation of mankind.
Are you one of those? Are you already feeling the frustration that there are those who hate God that want to stop you from celebrating His birth? Are you already scouring the news looking for where to shop and where to stay away from? Have you written letters of complaints to the businesses whose ads say Happy Holidays? Can you feel your heart hardening, your spirit sagging, your joy fleeing as you face these coming weeks? Can I tell you a secret? The battle belongs to the Lord. The Christ you believe in conquered the world. He rose triumphant. He granted you the power of His name, and the protection of His Spirit. You don’t need to tilt at the windmills of atheist billboards. You don’t need to lament the loss of Christ in Christmas. He didn’t ask us to do that.
Instead, this Christmas season, focus on the weapons Christ granted you in this battle between the powers. Be honorable among the Gentiles, do good deeds with a servant’s heart so others may see Christ in you. Do not let Merry Christmas become an epithet, spoken to wound or shame. Let the Spirit use you to speak the words of life with joy and grace. Shine the light to prepare the way this advent season. We bring good tidings of great joy. The Christ is born to redeem this lost and dying world. Who knows maybe you’ll even reach one who does not yet believe. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Tera Ertz is the founder of Hope and Change Ministries, author of God Talk: The Beginning, mother of five, and a child of God. You can find her on Facebook, or subscribe to Hope and Change Ministries or Contagious Transformations to keep up with the latest.