Our father in Heaven sent Jesus into the world to heal the broken story of humanity — the story that we rebelled and turned away from Him.

We chose to go our own way. And therefore we often find ourselves outside of His blessings — trying to do life on our own terms. The result? Alienation. Fear. Discontentment.

But God is a good Father who loves us deeply and who made us in His own image. As we reflect that image more and more, we find our place of happiness and joy and peace. Because God didn’t make us to live apart from Him. He doesn’t desire for us to live a diminished life. At the heart of God is a desire that our broken story will find its healing in him. Abundant life is His gift to us during the holidays and always.

So how do we choose this kind of life — resting in His truth? We embrace certain truths, and teach them to ourselves over and over.

First, I must realize that my life is not my own.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” It’s easy to think of our lives as our own property. But the scriptures teach us that we are a treasured possession of the Lord. That’s an incredible thought! He doesn’t own us like property, He owns us like a cherished prize. The most important being in the universe has a claim on my life. I’m not insignificant. My life has meaning because I’m noticed by someone so important. I am valuable to Him and to the world because of this fact, not because of anything I have done.

Second, because I belong to the Lord, I can see things that belong to me in a different way.

I am able to have a loose grip on what I possess — my things, my job, my money, my time. I live freely because I am able to see myself as a steward of these things and not an owner — just temporarily responsible for everything that passes through my hands. It is my job to be obedient with them, not to control them. The Bible says it this way, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”(James 1:17). Because of this fact, we are able to enjoy what God has given to us and direct it toward his purposes without fear, because His resources never end.

Third, as a steward, I can see that my relationships don’t have to fully satisfy me. 

When we realize we belong to God and He wants to give us good gifts, we also get to experience relationships as goods gifts from the Father. We root our relationships in the fact that God deeply loves us and nothing else. Then, they move beyond the purely utilitarian  — people aren’t commodities that we use to get something from them, but rather are gifts and blessings whom we have the privilege of steering towards the Father. When we love people instead of use them to fill us, we can leave behind many of our mixed motives and relationship stresses: How will my needs be met? What happens when things break down? Why won’t they act like I want them to? We can leave these ways of thinking behind because we’re in relationship with the only real person who genuinely can meet all our needs — God.

As we continue to steward the story of the gospel in this Christmas season — the most perfect story of hope, joy, peace, and love ever told — the first place to start rooting this story is in your own heart. Start each day thinking on God’s endless, personal love for you, expressed in Jesus Christ. It can truly change everything.