7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. 8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you. Phil 4:7-9 AMP
My favorite Christmas movie is "Elf" starring Will Farrell. Buddy the Elf is different from all the other elves in his appearance and his contagious excitement for the Joy of Christmas.
Buddy isn't bothered by the "scrooges." Instead, he is confident in his identity and isn't afraid to share it. His vibrant delight for the Christmas season erupts holiday cheer gleefully. You're probably thinking, "What on earth does this have to do with gold?". Well, let me explain the similarity between Buddy the Elf and Gold.
Approximately 15 years ago, I was holiday shopping, focused on my gifts list, inconvenienced by long lines, annoyed by cranky store clerks and distracted from the proper enjoyment of the season; a scrooge myself, one might say.
Until God reminded me that the "Gold" of Christmas is not in what we purchase, but in how we see others around us and reflect who CHRIST is within us! Aha! ✨ Gold ✨,the gift God showed me, is possible when I live from my Identity in Christ, not my identity in the world.
Since then, I shifted how I entered the world and interacted with others. Instead of being annoyed and inconvenienced, I spread my treasures of gratitude, joy and excitement in every encounter. I began living out of the celebration of who Jesus is in me, and seeking to find Gold in others.
Spreading holiday cheer takes intention. It’s meaningful and purposeful to share and notice others' gifts, announce encouraging words as well as, “smile” at every person I meet. Like Buddy, I am excited to live out of the confidence of who I am in my created Identity in Christ. Heartfelt joy erupted from within me, and I began experiencing great delight in "singing praises and celebrating others" just as Buddy The Elf did, shouting, "I'm singing! I'm in a store, and I'm singing!" Try it! It's fantastic how kindness and gratitude breed love and appreciation. Now I practice "searching for gold" all year long, everywhere I go!! Every outing is like a treasure hunt!
Flipping the script and "searching for gold" allowed gratitude to become my permanent lens. The authenticity of who I am, equips me to point out "God's gold" in others. A simple "Thank you for being here today" or "You have a lovely smile" and "Merry Christmas" changed interactions.
By opening up conversations with gratitude, the energy shifts wherever I go, and a sense of enjoyment permeates.
During this season of hustle, I challenge you to consider what lens you are wearing and how you see others.
A lens of gratitude or accomplishment?
A lens of others or self?
A lens of "gold" or grumbling?
It's up to you…The way you go out into the world is the world in which you live. You may be the only Jesus someone sees today! ~ Ashley Guzman