Christmas: not about naughty or nice!

Posted on December 1, 2016 · Posted in Gospel, Gratitude, Holidays

nice-list

Satan has done a good job of attempting to confuse the wonder of Christ’s birth with idea of presents being result of nice behavior. You know the song about Santa checking his list twice, he’s gonna find out about who has been naughty or nice. The idea is that if you are good enough that magical present will appear. Being naughty doesn’t really fit with receiving good gifts. This is exactly how Satan would prefer you think about receiving good gifts from God. His purpose is for you and your children to think that being good brings good things. Once this thought is implanted it muddies the truth of the gospel message.

Jesus destroyed this notion when he said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

This is the exact opposite of being good to get good. Don’t let the idea of being nice be the gateway to gifts, especially ones placed under the tree. If Christmas is to represent Christ we must make it clear to our children that Jesus didn’t come to reward nice people!

Don’t connect giving gifts to being good or nice. Connect gifts to the love and and commitment you have for your children simply because they are your children! This models the love and commitment that Christ has for you. You don’t receive good because you are good. You receive good because Christ is good.

Gifts that are given to earn favor or make amends for wrongs are not gifts at all. They merely become bargaining chips in a deadly game of self-atonement. True gifts do not come with attachments.

Give gifts this Christmas. Wrap them with bright colors and bows. Give them because Jesus gave you the gift of his love. It is not about whose naughty or nice. It is about Jesus Christ loving you while you were lost and his enemy.

LifeLine Mini-book Display Unit

LifeLine Mini-book Display Unit

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.