In Christmas, making a checklist has always been associated with the people who received our gifts this year, the ingredients of a favorite Noche Buena dish, or the lyrics of that popular Christmas carol where Santa Claus “makes a list, checks it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.”
In this season of caring and sharing, draw up an equally important list— one that enumerates four things you need to do as a Christian this Christmas. Because a true Christian does more than spread the Word of God; he or she lives and breathes it, too!
Good Christian Checklist: Help the Poor
Like the Good Samaritan who showed compassion to the stranger who was robbed and left for dead on the road, we too have the capacity to extend assistance to those who need it, whether we know them or not. (Read: Couple Gives Out Thanksgiving Turkeys Despite Struggling Business)
Volunteer your time and talent to any of the causes listed in ivolunteer.com.ph. Foster one of the dogs or cats of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). Help a senior cross the pedestrian lane of a busy street. Pay for someone’s jeep fare when he finds himself short of change. Give the Grab rider who delivered your package a light snack and drink. Kindness comes in many forms, so there’s no limit to what you can do and how much you can help.
Good Christian Checklist: Listen and Be Patient
At a time when everyone is dying to be heard, listening is a hard thing to do. But still, it can be done with love and patience. (Read: Legazpi Bishop Offers Words of Encouragement to Typhoon Victims)
Set aside your personal interests and be fully present to those who are troubled and sad. Allow them to express themselves without judgment. Sometimes, people aren’t looking for a solution at that very moment; they just want to know that someone is there to hear them out. And once they feel that lightness that comes after speaking their mind, they will be truly grateful.
Good Christian Checklist: Share Your Blessings
We always have more than we need, even when we feel like we don’t. Pack up books that you’ve already read and donate them to Reading Club 2000, the 24/7 aklatan run by Nanie Guanlao. Sponsor a family’s meal and partner up with different organizations online. (Read: Vatican Bridges Age Gap With Latest Campaign for the Elderly) Letting go of material things reveals your true wealth: a generous heart and sincere concern for others.
Good Christian Checklist: Forgive Your Enemies
The struggle is real, releasing your anger and hatred for someone who has done you wrong. It’s almost as if you’re letting that person off the hook for what he or she did.
You don’t have to be best friends again or pick up where you left off and act like nothing happened, if that’s not what you want. You don’t even have to tell that person to his or her face that all is forgiven. You can, however, manage your thoughts and feelings.
Start by letting go of your anger and resentment; such toxic emotions are unhealthy and suggest that the person who hurt you continues to have a hold on you. (Read: 3 Prayers to Save a Failing Relationship) Then, put an end to the blaming and victim mentality. What’s done is done and you can only learn from the past and move forward much wiser and stronger than before.