Tolerance and compromise is the message we are constantly hearing in our society. But while we, who believe in YHVH, are told to be more understanding, we are not being understood ourselves. If we choose to follow the scriptures and do what it says then we are rigid and judgmental. We have to lower our standards to fit in with everyone else, but everyone else doesn’t have to do the same. There is no tolerance for us. There is only condemnation from our families, our friends, and the world around us. If we choose not to celebrate a holiday because of what we believe now, then our families are accusing us of being a hypocrite. If we choose to follow the Feast Days of YHVH then we are too religious. If we do as they say then we have compromised and are seen as failures. No matter what we do there will always be someone against us.
That is why it is important to stand firm in what we believe during these upcoming holidays. If we believe celebrating Halloween, Harvest Fest (as a substitute for Halloween), or Christmas is wrong for us then we shouldn’t do it. It doesn’t matter what our families say. It doesn’t matter what our friends say. It doesn’t even matter what our pastor says on this subject. If we know God is not pleased with celebrating these holidays, then we shouldn’t do it because we love Him and care about what He cares about.
We are to be an example of what it means to love God. There is no compromise in love. Do you only love someone when certain people are around? Or do you love that person all the time, no matter who is around? If you truly love him/her, then you’re not hiding him/her from the world. You’re standing next to him/her, walking side by side. That is all God is asking us to do — not be ashamed of Him and His ways. He openly blesses us for everyone to see. We should openly follow Him for everyone to see.
By doing so we show we do not love this world or the things in it. We are not practicing its ways or being like the nations in any way. We are not acting like the children of Israel, whom God had to tell over and over again to not pick up the customs of the surrounding people or marry them. (Or are we?) Otherwise, we will forget God and His ways, resulting in leaving our first love.
Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
When we love the world we fall in the danger zone of deserting our beliefs, our God, and our fellow laborers. We become like the children of Israel and Demas. Ultimately, we hate God and become His enemy.
For Demas, because he has fallen in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone off to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia; Titus has gone to Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)
You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! (James 4:4)
We Don’t Celebrate those Holidays; Now What?
We don’t hate God, nor do we want Him to consider us His enemy. So we stop celebrating these holidays. We stand firm in our beliefs. Regrettably, we didn’t realize how hard this was going to be because those are the times the whole family gets together. Now we feel lonely and shunned by those we love. We have made ourselves outcasts. At first we’re not sure how to handle this. Do we go over the family’s house anyway? We’ll just talk, laugh, and eat. Or do we stay home by ourselves? What are we to do?
Instead of thinking about what we are missing out on, this could be a time when we are actively participating in true ministry. This is the time to exercise our faith and do what God commanded us to do.
Because all the things of the world — the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life — are not from the Father but from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever. (1 John 2:16-17)
The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world. James 1:27
There are three things we can do: (1) care for the orphans, (2) care for the widows in distress, and (3) keep ourselves from being contaminated by the world. We can fulfill the third by doing the other two. We could volunteer at a shelter to pass out warm blankets or a soup kitchen to feed the hungry. We could bring food to widows who are shut-in, visit nursing homes, buy needed items for foster children, volunteer at a youth center and so much more. All it takes is a desire to be a part of the healing process for someone. When we help others we show them someone cares and not only do we care, but God cares about them also.
We can also pray for others during this time. Pray they will see the Father’s heart and desire to please Him. Pray we all walk together in love and in one accord. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for whatever else the Father lays on your heart.
Instead of focusing on ourselves this worldly holiday season, let’s let our light shine and become a blessing to someone else. Let’s not focus on what we think we are missing. Let’s focus on doing the Father’s business. In this way we will be like Yeshua.
For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me. (John 6:38)
In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
How do you handle the upcoming holidays with your family and friends? Share with us your wisdom on how you honor God during this holiday season.