Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. —Romans 12:10

The word ‘selah’ throughout Scripture is used as an exclamation mark at the end of a verse to help us pause and reflect on its meaning. Today, in day 14 of our Christmas devotional series we are resting on Romans 12:10. Selah.

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Managing Complex Relationships this Christmas

by Cassie Holland

Ah, Christmas—it is the season of blessing, with a mix of challenge thrown in for good measure.

The holiday often marks the coming together of families over an array of gifts and more food than our stomachs can bear. Sounds perfect, right? But Christmas can also be a difficult time.

Navigating challenging relational dynamics can be tough. Paul’s letter to the Romans reflects on relational tension with perspective. He was reaching out to encourage the Romans to be moved by love and compassion. To love one another. To be devoted to one another and above all to honour one another. That instruction holds true for us today, just as it did for the early Roman church.

At Christmas, we remember and celebrate Jesus’ arrival on earth.

He was brought into the world to demonstrate the values of the Father—unity, acceptance, humility, and compassion. And what better way to honour Him than to extend these values towards our families, even amidst conflict.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. —Colossians 3:12-14

If you’re struggling with difficult family dynamics and wish to see change this holiday season, I want to encourage you to lift the situation—and the people involved—up to the Father. Invite Him into the room to sit at the table with you and see Him move hearts and minds.

If you’ve been praying for days, months or even years, don’t give up! Jesus’ birth shows that God timing is good—and His gifts are better than we could ever imagine.

Dear Jesus, Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew in me a steadfast spirit. Help me to walk steadily in places of conflict, bringing peace, honour, and love. Amen

Cassie Holland

Cassie Holland is a freelance writer for Compassion Australia, with a passion for helping people articulate and share their unique journeys. She enjoys communicating impactful stories from children and caregivers who are being released from poverty.

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How can we bring peace as an act of compassion this year?

Let’s commit together to be moved with compassion and forgiveness this Christmas.

Advent Compassion Challenge

Christmas can be a time of both celebration and conflict. Is there a relationship that needs to be restored in this season? Our challenge today is to make contact, pray or be active in the restoration of relationship.

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