Summary: Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and happiness based upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Too often, this fact gets lost in ugly thoughts, words, motives, and actions.
Ugly Christmas Sweater
Week 1: Ugly Thoughts
PASTOR TIMOTHY PORTER
Today we begin a mini series for the Christmas season called Ugly Christmas Sweater.
Maybe you have a tradition like many people of having a festive party with friends and everyone choosing the ugliest, most obnoxious, or gaudy sweater they can find.
This party usually involves jingle bells, candy canes, lights, puff paint, ribbons, and bows.
It’s fun to drink cider and eat cookies while looking as goofy / silly as possible. It’s now become a bit of a cultural phenomenon.
Though there are people who love to wear ugly Christmas sweaters each year at parties, what I have found is that some people choose to embrace ugly attitudes along with them.
Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and happiness based upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Too often, this fact gets lost in ugly thoughts, words, motives, and actions.
This Christmas, things can change and you can celebrate Jesus in the way you think, speak, and live toward the people around you and the ones you love.
? The war of life is fought in the battlefield of the mind. The things we do are first thoughts we think.
?We are wired for negativity, but God can rewire us for thoughts of joy.
When we allow God to work within us, and when we choose to focus on good things, Christmas will be Merry and Bright.
?A good question to ask about that stuff in your life is, "Where did it come from?
How did I take that out on somebody who didn't even do anything to me"?
Usually, where it comes out is not where it comes from.
We don't usually get angry and lose our temper with people we're actually mad at. We lose our temper with people who we know will forgive us.
Now you're taking out something on the people you love the most, but where it's coming out is different than where it's coming from.
If we don't get honest about what we need from God, we will spend nothing but wasted time mopping up the floor without finding the busted pipe that was causing the leak to begin with.
Our ugly thoughts are where our ugly words, motives, and actions originate.
The biggest question is this: What caused this uglyness?
Matthew 1:18 (NKJV) 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
This event left Joseph ticked off, hurt, confused, felling of being betrayed! Most of all he was afraid.
Something always causes you to think bad thoughts, your bad thoughts cause you to do and say ugly things and its always an event.
Come on. You know this is the truth. A lot of times when you are angry it's not really even that you are angry; it's thatyou are afraid.
Afarid from the event that startes itn all.
Rather than be vulnerable in your fear, you would rather express your fear through ugly thoughts that turn to anger as a protective mechanism. So you are trying to work on your temper, but really what you need to work on is your trust, because if you trusted God more you wouldn't be afraid, and if you wasn't afraid you wouldn't find an expression of anger.
"Where's this coming from"? Events that take place in your day to day.
It's great to make a list of the things you'd like to do differently, but it's better to find out where it's coming from so you don't just recreate a different issue that was caused by the same disease because you only learned to take ibuprofen for the symptoms, but you never underwent the surgery to understand some of the beliefs beneath the behavior.
The bible says : Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) 26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
Is it a sin to be angry? Getting angry is a natural human emotion that need not lead us into sin—if we remember that God is a God of justice and we use our anger in a way that honors him
Not if perfect, sinless anger is the requirement, since sin infects everything we think, say, and do.
But I don’t think Paul had perfect, sinless anger in mind when he quoted King David from Psalm 4:4 to the Ephesians. Paul’s point seems to be that not all anger Christians experience is rooted in the prideful, selfish soil of our sin nature.
There is a kind of anger that comes from our regenerate, Spirit-directed nature, even if it is unavoidably tainted by our indwelling sin as it passes through the defective filters of our minds and mouths. And because the Holy Spirit through David and Paul instructs us to “be angry,” it means some things must make us righteously angry.