I have the poem “Do It Anyway” by Mother Theresa in my counseling office. It makes me strong and gives me hope for holiday relationships. It was given to me by a friend in a Christmas letter in 2005. It’s timeless.
The truths are essential for relationships during the holidays. Do you gather with people who put you down, question your life decisions, or give you that “You’ll never change” look?
Do the words “Do it anyway” give you strength as you interact with others and give yourself grace? Do you need hope for holiday relationships?
- People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered? Forgive them, anyway. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you change the other person. It does make it easier to relate to them.
- If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. People may gossip or make faulty assumptions about you. Be kind anyway.
- If you are frank and honest, people may cheat you. Or they might hold grudges, get back at you, lie to you, or stonewall you. Be frank and honest anyway.
- What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build it anyway. Don’t be afraid to take chances. When you step out in risk, God has the opportunity to work. Being comfortable isn’t always godly.
- If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Why can’t we truly be happy for one another? Be happy anyway.
- The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway. The most significant moments in heaven and on earth are the simplest moments in living. Build up treasures in heaven.
- Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. We’ve always told our kids as long as they’ve done their best, that’s all that matters. Give the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it’s between you and God.
It was never between you and them, anyway.
May these words give you courage and balance this holiday season as you interact with others who are the “they’s” and “them’s.” You’ll be in gatherings where people will be jealous, unreasonable or unkind. They may accuse you or forget the kindness you’ve shown them in the last year.
Take a deep breath, remember whose you are, and whom you answer to. Smile, ask how they’ve been, and listen.
You’re building treasures in heaven.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you; compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as your Father forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14, The Message.