Let’s Stop Christmas Shaming

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It is an unfortunate habit many of us have fallen in to.

Shaming.

You can insert whatever kind of shaming you want, but essentially it boils down to  something I do or don’t do that somehow makes me feel superior.

Whether it's the anti-Black Friday shoppers or those who are offended by Happy Holidays' greetings, can we just please stop Christmas shaming?

The blogosphere and social media are filled with it.

From women who feel they and superior because they don’t wear pants to moms who don’t allow their kids to watch any TV.

There is the Christian shaming of those who celebrate Halloween or various Christian holidays that others deem “pagan”.

Or how about all those anti-Black Friday shopper people who made those who shop on Black Friday feel inferior because shopping on Black Friday is somehow materialistic.

But isn’t materialism a state of the heart..and not a day of the month?

Perhaps what we haven’t stopped to consider is the families on a super-tight budget who decided to take advantage of the good deals so their kids could have Christmas this year.

That’s not materialistic, it’s frugal. An admirable trait to have!

Now that we’ve entered December, there will be the anti-Elf On the Shelf people who will make you feel bad if you’re okay with that.

I am not crazy about Elf on the Shelf for my own personal reasons.

And that is exactly what it should be.

Personal.

Unless you can give me a chapter and verse about Halloween, a certain toy, or a day when we should not go shopping, the conviction for or against these is personal.

Let’s Stop Christmas Shaming

A personal conviction is something everyone gets to have.

And I don’t even mind if you share yours with me as long as you give me the opportunity to keep mine without feeling like mine is inferior to yours.

The danger we often face is this:

The foundation for our personal convictions is a strong belief about something. Because we feel so strongly about that thing, we wish to tell others about our belief and somehow win them over to our way of thinking.

This is not inherently wrong. It is natural for us to want to share our strong beliefs on certain matters, especially as communicators.

To ask people with personal convictions to keep their opinions to themselves is unfair because it robs the one with convictions of the same freedom we are being robbed of when we feel we’re not allowed to have a differing conviction!

Somehow we have to bring the two camps together:

The one with the strong personal conviction

The one with the opposing conviction.

I believe that in Jesus Christ there is room for both.

I believe that Paul addressed this when he said, “Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.” Romans 14:6

There is room for us all to have personal convictions, and mutual respect at the same time.

I urge you this holiday season to do the following:

If someone wishes you “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas, genuinely look them in the eyes and wish them whatever greeting you choose to use. But don’t use it as a weapon, use it as a bridge!

If you choose not to celebrate Christmas, graciously embrace those who do without making them feel like they are compromising their faith by doing so. Build a bridge!

If a mom takes pictures of a naughty elf about her house doing silly things, please don’t make her feel like she’s inferior because your family has chosen not to do Elf on the Shelf. If you do Melk or another fun Christmas activity with your kids, rock it! Take pictures and show us! There’s room for us all! Let’s build a bridge!

If a woman got a good deal on Black Friday – whether online or she braved the busy stores – congratulate her! Build a bridge!

Let’s stop shaming one another and build a bridge!

Let’s purpose this year to stop the mom, parent, Christian shaming and build bridges by accepting each others personal convictions with the grace and love of Jesus Christ.

Rosilind
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22 Comments

  1. What a great post! I constantly tell my children that one persons joy doesn’t take away from your own joy. We can each have fun in our own way at our own times. And if you see someone who is happy, they didn’t steal it from you! Why can’t we just be happy for each other instead of constantly tearing one another down?

  2. Absolutely! Reminds me of a verse my husband often quotes when other people see or do things so differently than we do. “I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” Psalm 119:96

    1. “I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.” Psalm 119:96 -OOOOOOH – WHAT A TREASURE OF A VERSE! Thank you for sharing that one!

  3. I’ve thought about this a lot also. We too often forget we are on the same team and supposed to life one another up. Besides, even if you don’t agree with something like someone celebrating Halloween or something like that because you are concerned about it’s history, why not think about it from the perspective of overcoming evil with good? There are so many ways you can bring Christ into our daily activities or special events that even if something began with negative connotations, doesn’t mean it can’t be turned into something that can be utilized to reach hearts for Christ. Thanks for bringing attention to this. I’m visiting today from Worshipful Wednesdays. 🙂

    1. ” We too often forget we are on the same team and supposed to life one another up.” – THIS!!! And I love what you said about using holidays such as Halloween to reach people for Christ. I have been saying that for years and have taken some heat for it. In the end, we can use EVERY opportunity to reach people for Christ, or let golden opportunities slip and regret them later.

  4. This post is just perfect! I agree wholeheartedly and am completely on board. We need to stop and recognize that we’re all just doing our best. Thanks so much for sharing this post.

  5. Hi! I found your link up at Time Warp Wife. I can’t even begin to say how much I love this post! I was raised in a very strict religious movement, and dealt with so much shaming… At 23 years old, my husband and I decided there had to be more to this Christian walk than simply walking on egg shells to please everyone’s convictions. We’ve learned so much over the past few years… I love the way you chose to word things… To the point, but kind. I’m definitely telling others to read this! Thanks for sharing!!

    Kristi @ http://www.kristisaidit.com

    1. Oh – I understand where you’ve come from. I was once in a very strict religious ministry, and found the same battle against walking on egg shells, and a battle to please everyone. In the end, it is freeing to just live to please the Lord!

  6. Love this Ros – it’s so easy to share our opinions in a way that put others down. And we also need to learn to not take things so personally as most people do not say things to hurt others.

    Thanks for sharing!

    #theCozyReadingSpot

  7. I would love to see this the other way also, because I have faced much more criticism, judgment and harshness coming from the other side. Even this post is mocking and judgmental. You want those with stricter convictions to respect and honor your more liberal ones, but you don’t extend the same courtesy.

    1. I am sorry you felt this post mocking or judgmental. It wasn’t my intention at all, but to say that personal conviction is personal when you cannot find a specific Bible verse or passage to back it up (example: saying Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas). In these instances let every man do what he feels his conscience is leading him to do…. ie. if you have a conviction about saying Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays, then that is what you need to do. But if someone chooses to use both, because he or she has no conviction one way or the other, then that person should not be made to feel he or she is doing wrong, because they are not violating Scripture or biblical principle in any way. There should be mutual respect in these instances.

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