Article: Attitudes and Expectations

What kind of Christmas will you have?

Some of us might say, “It is too soon to tell.” Or “I will let you know on the 26th.” We don’t know what will happen on Christmas so we have no way of knowing what kind of Christmas we will have… or do we?

Yes, there are many things that are outside of our control including catastrophic events that could ruin anyone’s day. Outside of an incident like this (God forbid) there is one factor that plays a significant role in the kind of day you will have, including Christmas.

Your attitude plays a significant if not a primary role in any situation that you will face. Tied in to our attitude is our expectations.

I read an article by Debra Rickwood is a professor of psychology at the University of Canberra and head of research at Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation recently. Here is a small portion of that article…

“There is a wealth of scientific evidence that helps us to understand the impact of expectations – from those attributed to a lucky charm, a pill or a positive mindset. Expectations influence how we think and behave, and how others behave towards us – all of which helps determine what happens in our lives.”

Now I don’t believe in lucky charms or placebo effect pills but I certainly believe that the expectations and attitudes we bring to any situation will play a big part in how you feel while you are going through it.

For example, if I bring negative expectations and a bad attitude with me to church, guess what? My experience will most likely be negative. Or if I am invited to a party that I don’t really want to go to and I act like I don’t want to be there, I am not going to have a good time.

Obviously, the same applies to Christmas. If you bring an openness and joy to Christmas, you will most likely have a blessed day.

I am reminded of a proverb written by King Solomon.

A cheerful (joyful) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

 Even King Solomon knew that attitude matters 3000 years ago.

We have reason to be joyful which has nothing to do with the amount of money in our bank account, the size of our family, who we are spending Christmas with or how many presents we will receive. No, our joy comes from God. Joy in the fact that God loves us so much that he sent himself to us so that we could see for ourselves what God is really like. We can have joy because God has promised to always be with us (especially on our worst days).

I look forward to Christmas Eve. I am expectant that our worship will be full of joy and that our hearts will be warmed because Christ will be with us and we will be together.

If you are traveling this Christmas, pack your heart with joy and share with everyone you meet and spend time with.

Merry Christmas,
Pr. Ben





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