It’s December once again. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for listening to Christmas carols, for decorating the tree and putting up the lights, for having your home filled with the fabulous aromas of fresh baked cookies and scented candles. It’s a time for reflection on the year that has passed and for being thankful to the Lord, Jesus Christ for the wonderful blessings of friends, family, good health, and so on.
There was a time, not so long ago really, when Christmas seemed to bring out the best side of our natures. Complete strangers passing each other on the street, who normally might not give one another the time of day, smiled at one another and wished each other a Merry Christmas. Neighbors, who rarely if ever spoke, would exchange gift baskets and cards, showing an abundance of Christmas spirit. The Christmas season had an otherworldly ability to do what no other holiday season during the year could; to remove the barriers of the heart. Christmas allowed us to show compassion and love toward one another without being afraid or judgmental. It was the one time of year when we came closest to what God intended us to be.
Yes, it is that time of year again, and yet something feels very wrong. The Christmas spirit is still there, but it seems overshadowed by something. Its sparkle has faded and been dimmed by another spirit, one of division and hatred. There is heaviness in the air that should not be there. It is as though the Grinch has come down from his mountain peak and stolen the very joy from people’s hearts without them even noticing. All of America seems to be at each others throats over one issue or another. We’ve seen rioting in the streets, protesters marching and shouting abusive and foul language, attacks on those sworn to protect and serve the very people who are attacking them. All of these things while our so-called leaders, instead of trying to calm fears and frustrations, seem to be antagonizing and encouraging more of the same.
There cannot be joy and love where there is anger and hatred.
The President has done very little to bring peace to these volatile situations. Al Sharpton, a so-called “man of God” has actually spent most of his time promoting anger and racism throughout our nation. The tension and division in our nation is reaching critical mass and all the while people continue to place the blame on the other guy. There is no accountability, no responsibility, and seemingly no stopping it. It’s hard to feel the Christmas spirit when all around us the world seems to be burning with hatred and distrust. Why is this happening? Who is responsible?
I’ve listened to all of the comments and excuses given by the media, from politicians, and from protesters; the police are to blame, white people are to blame, rich people are to blame, one political party or the other is to blame…it’s all wrong! The truth is hard to swallow sometimes, and in order to avoid doing so people will always try to blame someone or something besides themselves. It is not something that is only attributed to our children; adults shy away from accountability too. The truth about why all of this hatred and anger exists in our nation today is because it has been taught. I know some will say, “I didn’t teach my children to hate”, others will say, “It’s the fault of the movies or video games,” but the truth is that the responsibility rests on the doorsteps of our own homes. We, the parents, are who must be held accountable for the actions of our children, whether they are three years old or thirty years old. It is the moral and spiritual lessons that we teach to them that lead them to whatever they come to believe.
What are we teaching our children? What do we permit them to bear witness to in movies or video games? When we talk to them, are we listening as well, looking for warning signs of rebellious behavior or problems they may be struggling with? Do we spend time with them to teach them the importance of respect and honor, of doing what is right over that which may be popular? When they were young, were there rules and guidelines that they had to follow, and if they did not do what was right were there consequences and punishments? Did we teach them to respect authority and to follow the laws that govern us? These are our responsibilities as parents, regardless of how hard or time consuming they may be. Our children deserve the best possible teaching they can get and we are accountable for what they learn. It is a huge part of being a good and loving parent.
Christmas is upon us once again. Instead of twinkling lights and Christmas displays, at least one city suffers from burned out buildings and charred emotions, all as a result of anger and hatred. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death of a child, it is a very hard thing to endure (I’m speaking from experience), and my heart goes out to those who have suffered that kind of horrific loss no matter the age of that child, but hatred and anger will not help heal the wounds. Attacking others or burning down buildings will not help the pain to pass. Listening to those who have something to gain, by promoting or encouraging that anger and hatred, is not going to make things better. The only way that we can make our world a better and safer place for our children is to teach them things like humility, honesty, respect, and obedience. There is one other very important character trait that we must be certain we instill in our children and that is the ability to forgive. After all, Christmas is about the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth with the gift of forgiveness for the entire human race.
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and an even brighter and far more peaceful New Year. God bless America.