Responsible Choices, Responsible Giving

Saturday, December 21

12-21By Donna Boyd of Independence, Missouri, USA

The Spirit of the One you follow is the spirit of love and peace. That Spirit seeks to abide in the hearts of those who would embrace its call and live its message. The path will not always be easy, the choices will not always be clear, but the cause is sure and the Spirit will bear witness to the truth, and those who live the truth will know the hope and the joy of discipleship in the community of Christ. Amen.

—Doctrine and Covenants 161:7

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we face many decisions. If we take part in the gift-giving tradition, we have to decide who gets what. If we are hosting guests we have to decide who to invite and what food to serve. How do we spend our time—all party and decoration or in worship and centering on Christ?

Even in everyday tasks we find guidance from God. We know the Divine cares for us by the guidance we receive in our minor choices as well as our major choices. Our lives are richer when we let the model of Christ guide us in all matters.

When we face a major choice which may change our lives and the lives of others, we are more likely to pause for guidance. We don’t try to consult God like an oracle or expect an answer as tangible as we might find in a fortune cookie. God is not our decision maker, but a spiritual guide. With prayer and discernment, we can expect broadening insight to make more responsible choices.

Sometimes the Spirit of God makes us aware of the wisest choice. Sometimes the facts become clearer for us to analyze. We learn to take responsibility for our choices. We are glad God wants us to grow closer in our relationships. We rejoice that we have the freedom to choose for ourselves. We are thankful that engaging in Christ’s mission guides us toward right decisions “and the Spirit will bear witness to the truth…”

Perhaps we’ll feel led to choose to invest in the growth of another— perhaps helping them put Christ at the center of their Christmas. We praise God for the light shed on our learning, growing, and decision-making.

Prayer for Peace
Generous God, lead us to generosity. May we choose to follow the star and lay our gifts at the manger of grace.

Spiritual Practice for Advent: Love
Reflect on the love of God. How is it that God sent Christ to be “all our loves exceeding?” How do you see God’s love revealed in Christ? How is God’s love revealed in your own life? Think of ways you can express that love as you prepare for the Son of God—love’s pure light? Thank God for the ultimate gift of love: Jesus Christ.

Peace Covenant
Today I am deciding to choose love, God…love to the world!

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