November and December are probably two of my favorite months. For me, it feels as if the whole atmosphere is different. People are smiling more, laughing more. During November, there's thanksgiving. Families from all over get together and share about their lives with each other. Although some gatherings can be a little strange, we still love our family. We are reminded of what we are thankful for, the small and the big things.
The day after thanksgiving, however, is when the happiness really starts to kick in. I'm talking about Christmas time. It's the season of hallmark movies, christmas cookies, and giving of course. Everybody loves to get presents, but often, and I know this may seem strange to some, giving presents are so much more rewarding. They fill you with a happiness, no apple watch or whatever gift you receive can bring you. Although putting others first portrays itself as the complete opposite of making you happy, it's true.
We find ourselves thinking about our needs and wants way before others, even though we don't like to admit it. We put ourselves first, when really it should be the other way around. My sunday school teacher taught us an acronym a long time ago that I still think about. He said to find true J.O.Y., you have to put Jesus first, Others second, and Youself next. Now don't think that I'm telling you to not care about yourself, because I'm not. Self-care is very important but I'm talking about the little things. For example, if your mom is cooking dinner and trying to help your brother with his homework, you should probably go help them instead of watching netflix. It's just a suggestion but It'll make a huge difference on your mom and brother's night.
Sometimes, we don't realize that we are putting ourselves first because of habit. If you find yourself acting selfishly, speaking arrogantly, and defending yourself often, most chances are you are thinking about yourself first. When I catch myself doing this, I remind myself that I should act selflessly, speak humbly, and be grateful for what I have. In doing this, it has made me a happier person.
In the bible, there are so many instances where Jesus serves others, so he is an incredible example to look at. He was humble, kind, and put others needs before his own. One of my favorite parts in the Bible is when Jesus washes the feet of his desciples. Let me remind you, this took place a long time ago, so people didn't bathe regularly. On top of that, the shoes were open toed and there were very dusty roads. I'm pretty sure you get the idea of how smelly those feet must have been. Washing the feet of others was a job for servants, especially not for the son of the King of the world. Nevertheless, Jesus served others. He wanted to teach his desciples to think of others first and to serve them with happiness. It's a very good lesson and can definitely be applied to our lives years later.
This Christmas season, challenge yourself to put others first. It may be hard, but as you continue to serve others, you will realize how happy it makes you. Remember to give, rather than receive, and it will make all the difference!
Remember: Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Deeply