Today, as you go about your Christmas celebrations with your loved ones – and your less than loved ones- let them know how much you love them. No matter what has transpired between you. No matter what ups and downs life has brought each of you, love them, and let them know you love them. Say the words. Give the hugs. Put aside every measure of hurt and fear of rejection. And tell them you love them. Speak words of life and affirmation to them – no matter what they have done or not done. In all my years of ministry and now, in doing the Grief Recovery work, I have never, ever had someone regret that they told someone they loved them.
Even if there are 99 reasons why you shouldn’t love them and even if there are 99 injustices that they have done personally to you, love them anyway and let them know you love them. Say the words, “I love you” with heartfelt sincerity.
If you feel that you can’t muster up enough caring, pray first, asking Jesus to give you His eyes to see them as He does. Then tell them you love them.
I will be doing this today with what the Grief Recovery Method® calls a less-than-loved-one. We won’t exchange Christmas presents or even Christmas cards. And my less-than-loved-one will probably not do much to acknowledge my effort. But still I will tell them and still I will pray to see them as Jesus does.
If you will do this and make this a life practice, your life will be filled with so much joy because you will be living your life as Jesus did when he walked the earth. As they were crucifying Him he said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) and then He loved them.
Jesus said that others will know that we are His disciples by the love that we have one for another. (John 13:34-35)
Whatever your Christmas plans hold for you today, may you be empowered by the love of God to be able to tell everyone around you how very much you love them, and how very grateful you are that the King of kings and Lord of lords chose to plant them in your life’s garden.
Merry Christmas my precious, precious reader! I love YOU and value you! It may seem to you that you just happened by this post, but I believe that God drew you here to share your thoughts and to be encouraged.
This is one of my favorite poems and expresses just how short life is and how important it is that we do today what we may not have the opportunity to do tomorrow. Telling them we love them is one of those things.
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?