Wednesday, December 8, 2010

THE SANTA SERIES: A Works-Oriented Myth (Part Three)

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It seems very odd to me that Santa, a legalistic, works-oriented, earn-your-keep type of guy is able to steal the spotlight from a Savior who offers full and free forgiveness to all sinners, not just the "good" boys and girls.

Jesus loves the little children of the world. Period.

“Our children really are trying to be good,” says John Hoh, author of Santa Claus: Is He For Your Child?. “And if they feel they are failing that, they either become guilt-ridden or they act up even more, almost tempting ‘Santa’ to bypass them.”

Why waste your breath explaining Santa’s philosophy when you could be sowing seeds of grace into your child’s heart? Grace is difficult enough to understand, isn't it? Grace is extended to us in this way: God withholding what we deserve (punishment for our sins) and instead, providing the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Sure, a child can wrap his mind around simple equations:
Being good = gifts
Being bad = no gifts
However, it is the privilege of the Christian parent to lovingly demonstrate and explain the very nature of Christ, which is unconditional love. When a child misbehaves, it is not up to Santa to administer correction by way of gifts or no gifts when Christmas comes along in a few weeks. It is up to you to correct your child now. Not with threats that fall at the feet of a (non-existent) third party, but by leading your child to take three steps:

1. Understand the sinful nature of his wrongdoing
2. Take ownership of his behavior
3. Repent of his choice to sin

Remember the true meaning of Christmas: For God loved the world in this way: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (HCSB). The core of the Christmas message is that humanity received what we could never earn and what we did not deserve. For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift (Eph. 2:8, HCSB). It is the very best gift of Christmas.

"Love keeps no record of wrongs..." (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Read all the posts in The Santa Series:
What Are You Going To Do With Santa Claus? (Part One)
Tempted To Use Santa As Your Disciplining Tool? (Part Two)
A Works Oriented Myth (Part Three)
Age-Appropriate Tips for Emphasizing Christ this Christmas (Part Four)

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