Christmas Day, December 25th has become a day focused on gift-giving and receiving. On Christmas Day 2019, our granddaughter, Eleanor was born which has changed Christmas Day for our family into her birthday celebration.
Queen Elizabeth said it well in her Christmas message:
In the birth of a child there is a new dawn with endless potential.Queen Elizabeth, Dec. 25, 2021
When a child (or grandchild) is born, it brings about significant change in the family dynamic. You become more centred on someone new rather than on yourself. Before children (35 years ago), we were newly-weds and the focus was on each other as a young married couple. We were transformed into parents and the years since brought further transformation – We became grand-parents! Christmas Day 2021 was delayed until Boxing Day because our focus intentionally shifted.
The process of transformation often involves painful experiences. Here is how the Apostle Paul described it:
I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.Galatians 4:19 (NLT)
While we celebrate Christ being born on a specific day, we have continued the celebrations from a single day to a full season. Paul said he was experiencing labour pains which “will continue until Christ is fully developed.” It is not just the experience of Christ being made alive in our hearts but also that He continues to develop in our lives. Children grow and parents grow with them so each can be brought to maturity and that is the journey of life.
When I think about Christmas, it’s about a child being born but also about that child becoming “fully developed in our lives.” What this means is the focus of life and yes, even our business, is changed forever so that Christ becomes the centre.
There is much in our world that draws our attention away from what is truly important. Often the influences that impact our daily decisions are so subtle that we are completely unaware of them. Make no mistake the goal is to shift our focus away from what is essential. The context of Paul’s statement about labour pains is that there are competing voices that are “zealous to win you over” with the ultimate goal of distraction so that we “would pursue them” (Gal. 4:17).
There is always a competing voice – one that is louder than the whisper of truth! The truth is that we are on this earth to complete the work that was prepared for us and to bring glory to God. The louder voice calls us to focus on other things in our business like products and sales targets. While these are a necessary elements for our success in business, the focal point is to bring glory to God by completing the work given to us.
For every industry, there are “best practices” to follow to be successful. When Christ is fully developed in us, the “best practices” will naturally flow through us into our lives and businesses.
It’s quite interesting that “the glory of God” is something we have all fallen short of (Rom. 3:23) whether in life personally or in business. We have all missed opportunities but the object of our hope is the glory of God (Rom. 5:2).
So as we wrap up another Christmas and journey into 2022,
I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion!!Philippians 1:6 ESV