Pastor Tim Douglas: It’s Christmas, but there’s no reason to keep these secrets
December 14, 2011
“Please, do not keep the secret you are hurting emotionally. Never be ashamed of your emotional pain. Get help for it, just like when you suffer physically and go to the doctor to get better. Someone is there to help.”
— Tim Douglas, pastor at Ridgeview Church of God
Christmas is a time when families gather and enjoy time catching up on what's been happening in their lives.
Of course, there is also the giving and receiving of gifts from family, friends, and co-workers.
Christmas also is a time for keeping secrets.
We've learned in our family that some can keep a secret and some find it very difficult.
My teenage daughter will never be a spy for the government. I think I figured out why she has such difficulty keeping a secret — it's because she doesn't want a secret kept from her.
In today's column, I want to share about two secrets that should never be kept.
The first secret no one should keep is that they are depressed and having thoughts of harming themselves. (Thank you for continuing to read what I feel I need to share.)
Our neighbors, families, and friends are devastated too many times each year by the tragic loss of a family member, co-worker, or friend.
As I have become involved in the mental health community, I have become aware of the great emotional pain and suffering occurring right here in Northwest Colorado.
We must somehow get the word out to remove the stigma of mental health issues and let everyone know help is available.
There are many well-qualified therapists and doctors available here in Craig, as well as within a few hours' drive.
Alcohol and drug abuse increase during the holiday season as well as episodes of depression when individuals begin to think about loss they have experienced or how they wish the holidays could be.
Please, do not keep the secret you are hurting emotionally.
Never be ashamed of your emotional pain. Get help for it, just like when you suffer physically and go to the doctor to get better.
Someone is there to help.
The second secret that should never be kept is the meaning of Christmas. Somehow we have lost the message that Christmas is all about Christ.
Christ has been lost in the shopping, parties, food, giving and receiving gifts and the exhausted state we find ourselves from the middle of November to New Year's.
One quiet night, the angels on the hillside proclaimed to the shepherds, " Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).
There are people here in our community who need to hear the good news that they can be freed from anything that has bound their life.
They can have joy. They can have peace.
No, a relationship with Christ does not eliminate all of the problems in life, but there is confidence God is with you and He loves you and will help you through the struggle.
So, let's not keep these two secrets. Let's truly make this a "Merry Christmas" or Happy" Holiday, whichever greeting you use.