Earlier in the week I went Christmas shopping for my wife. Due to the nature of the gift, I was forced to rely on the expertise of sales associates. After finding two similar items, I wanted to know which would be the best purchase for the long haul. When I was finally convinced on the best brand name to buy, I approached the check out counter. On my way out, I replied, “Merry Christmas,” that was followed by an awkward silence.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control, 2 Timothy 1:7.
Sometime in the last few decades, Christians have become afraid of offending other people of faith. Due to political correctness, retailers are now training new staff to avoid expressing specific phrases or words. Subsequently, Merry Christmas has become like cheap greeting cards, X’ed out and replaced with Happy Holidays. It’s no wonder that this cashier was uneasy, not sure how to respond to my seasonal greeting.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, 1 John 4:18.
The apostle Paul witnessed a spirit of timidity in his day. When persecution broke out against the early church, fear consumed many believers. This environment initially hampered the growth of the Way as described in the book of Acts. Yet, as soon as fear was replaced by the love of Christ, the tides began to turn. May this wave of the Holy Spirit arrive on the scene today to inspire people to share two special words, “Merry Christmas.”
by Jay Mankus