Family & Holidays

Scripture of the Week – Mark 10:29-31 – “‘I assure you,’ Jesus said, ‘there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more now at this time – houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions – and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last and the last first.’” 

This week we’re taking a break during the holiday season by focusing on a topic that’s close to the heart of everyone in our TCTC community, especially during this time of year – family. To be clear, this does not mean everyone celebrates the perfect family holiday – quite the opposite and we want to help leaders through this season of what for many can be one of stress, anxiety and even greater loneliness than they experience the rest of the year. And if it’s not for you, please recognize it to some degree like this for a majority of people in the organization you lead and your local community. 

The reason we selected the passage we did for this week is because it’s a reminder of the most important things in life and that in our culture, it can be very difficult to maintain a proper perspective on holidays and family which can be temporary or permanent idols we elevate to status of worship this time of year. In fact, the passage is freeing to name this time of year what it is – a season to be enjoyed but not a thing or time to be worshipped. We want to encourage the TCTC community that what should remain throughout this season and into 2022 is our steadfast pursuit of our values while we lead our families, organizations, and communities well. 

What do holidays and family mean to you? Where do you feel immensely fulfilled and supported by your family? How do the holidays amplify that feeling? Where do you feel disconnected, frustrated, anxious, lonely from family and how do the holidays amplify that feeling? For many of us – both feelings exist when we examine closely enough. 

Here are a couple examples: Erik, The Coach, worked with a client who struggled immensely during this sease because his family of origin would elevate the Christmas holiday to idol status. So much so that it led them to the annual dance of high stress activities (ie dinner with guests) and to spend money the family did not have (ie credit card debt) so annually the Thanksgiving through New Year’s season became a season of high stress and danger (ie economically dangerous). This has had repercussions throughout the client’s adult life on both how to spend money wisely and navigate the holidays. 

Another example is from a part of Josh’s family who elevates the family to idol status. So much so that virtually any other misbehavior or sin will be ignored and forgotten – it’s almost endearing if not so dysfunctional. This of course is amplified by the holiday season when there is deep desire to gather and return to what are perceived as less tumultuous days of decades past when reality right at one’s nose is ignored. 

How did your family of origin or extended family view the holidays? How does it view family? As you answer these questions and move through this season, consider the following ways to stay steadfastly committed to your values during this season – these are not new to anyone who has been part of the TCTC community for a while 🙂

  1. Select one daily task (e.g., prayer and bible reading) you can do each and every day to reset no matter what the day will bring
  2. Select one weekly rhythm (e.g., Sabbath) you can repeat each and every week to reset each week
  3. Find yourself community where you can experience accountability and encouragement along your journey (tune in the next couple weeks for help with this one)

Merry Christmas everyone!

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