2 Corinthians 1:4 New International Version (NIV)
Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For most Christians, the holiday season is one of our most joyous times of the year. A holiday that revolves around celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior is a truly wonderful event! However, not everyone is feeling as merry and bright this time of year. So how can we best be a blessing to those who suffer grief or sadness during this time of year?
Don't isolate those who are feeling down.
Rather than assume someone wants to be left alone, why not ask them to join into holiday activities? If they decline once, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be involved in anything. Ask them if there’s something they’d rather do, or if they’d just like to talk.
Sometimes we must meet people where they are and simply be available to show our continued love and concern.
Many people may be mourning separation or loss of loved ones.
Allow others space and time to mourn, but also make yourself available if they want someone to talk to. Continuing to call and check on someone, inviting them to events, and praying for them are not only ways to show you care; they are ways to help them know they are still loved and not truly alone.
Sometimes depression may be due to a lack of sunlight because of shorter days and gloomy weather.
Some people suffer seasonal depression more than others. If this is a possibility, invite others to get outside! Enjoy the sunny weekend afternoons in whatever fashion is best for you! No matter what you’re doing, being together with those we love can always lift our spirits.
Encourage Forgiveness and Self Care.
Not everyone dreams of being home for the holidays. Often the holidays raise stress and anxiety for those who may have tumultuous relationships with family members. We can encourage forgiveness for past wrongdoings and acceptance that we cannot change others behavior. We can only pray for them and do our best to not feed into negativity. When the effect of being around family at the holidays is too damaging, we should encourage self-care. Maybe it’s best that some of us wish our families well and send love from afar while celebrating the holidays with friends or our church families instead.
No matter what the cause of someone not feeling their best during this time of year, as Christians, we should do our best to spread love, be encouraging, and be of service to those who may need us most during what, to them, may be the most difficult time of the year.
Cheerfully in Christ,