During this season, I reflect on the amazing gift that no other god would give to its people. Jesus Christ is God, yet He chose to be born just like you and me, so that He could live out life (in our shoes), to show us how to live, and be murdered by us (and conquering death for us). There is no other that would do what He did. You can read all about His humble beginnings in Luke 2...keep reading through, you'll get through the rest of His life on earth, leading up to His death on the cross. Answers In Genesis has a wonderful article about Christmas.
You want to know how to love? Look at Jesus. He sat with sinners and lepers. The very people who were not righteous and were constantly reminded of their hopelessness and depravity. He came to build a relationship with them and to give them a hope (that's not just a hope, but a promise of righteousness). He died for them. He died for me.
I am a hopeless sinner. I'm constantly reminded of my sins (both those long past and those more recent). Obviously, I have a track record of wrongdoings, but God made a way for me to live in peace.
I have been attacked regarding my transgressions and even told that there has been no change in me because of how recent some of those transgressions happened. I'm sure you can relate to what it feels like to already have a guilt you carry. I'm also sure you know what it feels like to have someone constantly throwing in your face what a screw up you are. Pair those two together and you have a dangerous concoction that can really tear you down.
I've apologized and have been working on restoring soured relationships to no avail. I cannot rely on the approval of man. Those who have wronged me have fallen away. Those I have wronged have fallen away...except for One (the One that really matters when all is said and done). I don't need others to forgive me. I need to forgive others and I need the forgiveness of God Himself.
What was done, was done and I can't change any of it. I can't keep punishing myself for it when Jesus has forgiven it. I cannot forget, because it is a reminder (a testimony) to the hope He's given to someone as hopeless as me.
You and I have to focus on what was done. The gift that God has given. He paid the price for us, so that we can be restored. We will have constant reminders of who the world thinks you are, but we have to continually remind ourselves of who God says we are. I have a post about shame from earlier this year.
Please reflect on the hope that has been given during this Christmas. We celebrate, not for the feast, not for the time with family, but because it's personal. A gift you can count on. What was done once will carry you through every part of your life.