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Choose to Smile By Raquel Martina Martinez


 “. . . let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

Every Christmas, I used to include myself in the purchase of gifts.  I’d often take advantage of the sales and bought myself a new car or the latest electronics.
One Christmas, however, what I needed the most could not be bought.  I felt an emptiness that affected everything around me. Nothing I could buy would assuage the pain. I needed to forgive the person who hurt me, and I needed to forgive myself for my part in that failed relationship.  
It wasn’t easy to let go of years of anger, so I started by verbally forgiving the person, and then, I forgave myself. My words became actions, and my actions transformed me.  
Last Christmas, I chose another such gift. I gave myself permission to walk away from vitriolic “friendships.” We may not have parted how I would have liked, but I am much happier without the constant bickering.  
We can choose to smile or frown, love or hate, honor or disrespect. We can choose to be humble or haughty, be polite or be vulgar, to share or to hoard.
Choice is a beautiful gift, and if done with a sincere heart, lots of practice, and dedicated follow through, the results might surprise us.  

Prayer: Lord, help me be more like you each day – showing love through my actions.  

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