Forgiveness is my next iteration of gift giving, though I give it more to myself. To that gift, I wish to add another — the gift of partnering. No, I’m not talking about an eternal companion (although I don’t object to such “gift giving”). I’m talking about partnering with the Lord. Is there any better time than Christmas to partner with Him? Is there a better way to celebrate Christ than to commit or recommit oneself to the road of discipleship? With Christmas just around the corner, ‘tis the season to partner.
Partnering with the Lord has been a longstanding theme of Joy in the Journey Radio. Christ is the source of all true joy, so how can we maximize the joy in our journey without Him? And the best way to include Him is to partner with Him.
That partnering includes everything in life, not just the spiritual aspect. Christ’s work is “to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of man” (Moses 1:39), which clearly has a spiritual component but cannot be complete without also including the emotional, mental, and physical aspects as well. Partnering with the Lord takes life to a whole other level when approached holistically.
And why shouldn’t it be so? Christ is interested in every aspect of our lives and blessing us in any way He can. If we partner with Him, He’ll want to help us thrive and succeed emotionally, mentally, and physically as well as spiritually. Thus, partnering with Him means involving the Lord as a full partner in the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of our lives as well as the spiritual.
Unfortunately, far too many think of partnering with the Lord strictly or primarily in spiritual terms; involving the Lord in the other aspects of their lives means primarily asking for help. They struggle with employment prospects, for example, and so ask for help in finding a job.
Asking for help is of course good. But partnering means more than just asking for help. It means counseling and involving in decision making. So instead of asking for help finding work, for example, partnering with the Lord means discussing how to approach your job search, sharing your successes and your challenges, and seeking His input as you decide what actions to take next.
Alma the Younger counseled his son Helaman, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good” (Alma 37:37, emphasis added). Involving the Lord in the spiritual aspect of our lives and heeding His direction will of course bring us closer to Him. Heeding His instructions regarding the emotional, mental, and physical matters of our lives as well as the spiritual will bring us all the more closer to Him. But He’s less likely to provide that direction when we don’t involve Him in those matters.
And what better time to involve Him than the Christmas season? In the holy trinity of holidays, we start with gratitude at Thanksgiving, then celebrate the hope for new life we have because of the birth of that new life in the manger, and conclude by resolving to act better in the new year. Partnering with the Lord in every aspect of your life is a wonderful way to celebrate the reason for the season.
That celebration will be most meaningful if it leads to actions that produce positive results. Many holiday traditions are simply rote performances; you do them because it’s that time of the year. But rote performance doesn’t change you. The richer celebration is one that leaves you changed, and truly partnering with the Lord will do just that.
If you are not now partnering with the Lord in every aspect of your life, now is a great time to start, for ‘tis the season to partner. Make partnering with the Lord your new Christmas tradition. When you do, He “will direct you for good.” And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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