I suffer from a disease called chronic disappointment disorder, or CDD. It’s not a real disease; don’t ask your doctor about it. It may be fake, but it affects me—and my celebration of Christmas—in a very real way.
For most of my life, the sting of disappointment accompanied every holiday. I felt let down when quarreling children ruined my serene Christmas morning. My spirit deflated when my pumpkin pie looked more like a science fair project. I waited to open my present last because I knew, no matter what was in that gift bag, it wouldn’t be what I really wanted.
I feel sorry for my husband.
God has worked to heal my CDD. He’s shown me that the best way to enjoy my holidays (and every day) is to take the focus off of my desires, expectations, my ideals and myself.
A step to enjoying a Comparison-Free Christmas is to surrender our ideals to the Savior.
Comparison puts us in hot pursuit of our ideals. “You’ll feel joy, peace, and rest after you get the perfect body, a Pinterest-worthy home, and a flawless family.” It whispers.
But the offer is a false salvation—one that comes from reaching our own goals and accomplishing our own dreams. Our ideals become our idols when we believe that getting what we want will satisfy us.
While there is certainly wisdom in planning, we can become too attached to having everything go our way. God asks us to lay down our dreams and schemes and trust him. He asks us to turn away from the idols or our ideals. As you’ll see in Psalm 8 and Matthew 6, the God who created the universe, dresses the flowers, and cares for the sparrow says that we don’t have to strive for our own way. He’s got everything under control.
Comparison convinces us that when everything goes just the way we dreamed or planned, then we’ll find contentment. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of life’s greatest disappointments are blessings in disguise. Likewise, unexpected opportunities and unplanned moments can often be the sweetest.
What ideals can you surrender to the Savior this Christmas? Are there plans or expectations that have turned into idols in your life? Read today’s passages about idolatry and how we can trust God. Then ask Him to show you what you can surrender to him this Christmas.
And that’s the memo.
By Heather Creekmore