Merry Christmas

I know I’m about to hit a subject that causes people’s emotions to rise up. Hopefully, we can look at this without the emotion factor too much.

I caught someone’s opinion that other day about where they shop at Christmas being based on whether or not the employees say “Merry Christmas.” They went on to express that shopping there was somehow betraying God because of this. This particular store chain is very benevolent throughout the year and does more to help local communities and schools than any other retail chain that I am aware of. They also happen to sell many items that are Christmas related and even say the words “Merry Christmas” on them. This store also is a publicly traded secular company trying to get ahead and survive in a volatile and secular marketplace.

If a person chooses not to shop there for any reason, fine. That is none of my business and I really don’t care if they do or not. The problem is, they want to make it their business that I do shop there. It happens to be my favorite department store. It bothers me that someone is willing to judge how spiritual or how “Christian” I am based upon where I shop. The truth is, if we applied their logic to all companies, we wouldn’t be able to shop very many places if any that were not run by people of our individual denominations. Even then, there would be issues I am sure.

I do think it is sad that America is so politically correct and worried about offending an extremely small majority of the population that stores have to set policies about the words their employees use at this time of year. I also think it is sad that Christians are so quick to get on a soap box and a high horse to think that every one has to act as we want them to based on our sensibilities. A store employee or government employee may not be able to “Merry Christmas” to us while they are working, the First Amendment still gives us the right to say it to them. As we do, let’s make sure we say it in sincerity and love and not with attitude, a chip on our shoulder, or any kind of sarcastic and holier-than-thou kind of way.

Christmas is the time when people are most likely to accept an invitation to church, most likely to listen to someone share their experience with Christ, most likely to be open to the truth of God’s Word. Let’s not blow this opportunity with a social political agenda. Instead, let us, the children of God and followers of Christ, do everything we can to spread the love and peace of God that exists within our hearts because of Him.

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