The Christmas season is upon us, with plans to spend time with friends and family. Let’s face it, most of us have at least one family member that makes spending time together difficult–we even may be that family member.

Yesterday we talked about shining the light of Jesus in a dark world–perhaps some will be spending time with darkness. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Phil 2:14-16a)

We must choose if we will be peacemakers (as Jesus commands) by allowing His light to shine in us; or one who stirs up strife if we think only of our selfish wants. “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:14-16)

Do we want to sow seeds of righteousness or of contention? “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18)

Remember, we are “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20). Will our actions and speech be “full of grace” or will we look worldly and selfish?

The Lord knows we need help in doing this, and He gives it gladly and from His abundance. “But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:5-8a)