Seven Sacred Ways to Live Your Best Life
by Valorie Burton
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional
In the midst of the shopping, parties, and cultural focus on gift giving, it can be tempting to miss the purpose of this holiday, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I'd like to share seven messages that Jesus taught during his three years of public ministry. As you celebrate Christmas and reflect on the holiday's true meaning, consider these words of wisdom that Jesus offered for living your best life.
1. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matthew 6:34) Too often in life (and especially around Christmas), we worry about issues that work themselves out over time. Worrying does not change anything. It is a waste of time, energy, and life itself. Plan your steps, but refuse to allow the fear of what might go wrong to consume you. Instead, focus on what you can do in the present moment to create the kind of future you want.
2. Do not judge and you will not be judged. (Luke 6:37) There may be people in your life who are doing things you don't agree with, perhaps even engaging in behavior that is destructive to them. Choose to love them and pray for them, without judgment. Choose compassion and empathy, perhaps even tough love, but reserve judgment.
3. Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. (Matthew 6:1) Christmas is a great time to help others, whether serving a meal, donating to worthy causes, or giving gifts. Be careful to do good and treat people well because it is the right thing to do, not because of the accolades or rewards you might receive from others. Allow the Holy Spirit to be in full control, so that your motives are pure.
4. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12) Humility is freedom - freedom from the pressure to be perfect, keep up appearances, or be better than everyone else. Success is a combination of working hard and being blessed with opportunities, abilities, and people who support you. None of us achieves or succeeds solely by our own power. Don't worry about taking credit or making yourself look good. Focus on serving, learning, and loving, and then the rewards will come.
5. Everything is possible for him who believes. (Mark 9:23) Consider your biggest dream for your life. It is not enough to say you will achieve it. You must believe it. You may not know exactly how it will become true for you. Your first step is to simply believe it's possible. Say it out loud and often, “It's possible!” With God, all things are possible.
6. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Most know this scripture as a foundational statement for the Christian faith, which it is. But there is something I find intriguing in its wording. It is the connection between loving and giving. God loved us; therefore, he gave us this miraculous Savior on Christmas Day. When you love others, you give of yourself, sometimes in very unselfish and sacrificial ways. Saying you love someone is not enough. Give of yourself - your time, energy, affection, and resources and they will truly know you love them.
7. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32) The truth sets you free in many ways. Be truthful with yourself about the issues of your life. Speak your truth in your relationships. Countless relationships fail because people refuse to speak from their hearts. Be truthful about what you want and what you are afraid of, and you will gain the strength to step fully into the rich, abundant life you were created to live.
This Christmas season, seek divine wisdom to guide your interactions with others and the decisions you need to make. Choose to live and love fully and freely. God gave His sacred Son to us. Let’s live our best life for Him.
Valorie Burton is the founder of The Coaching and Positive Psychology (CAPP) Institute – a training and leadership development company. Her latest book, Where Will You Go from Here?: Moving Forward When Life Doesn't Go as Planned is available now.
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