“Have you been a good little girl this year?”
I heard this time and time again when I was a child, along with statements such as: “If you’ve been naughty instead of nice, you’ll get coal in your stocking instead of candy.” When I answered, “Yes, I’ve been good,” I was surely hoping “good enough” would get me presents instead of nasty coal.
These are typical things adults say to children as Christmas approaches. Maybe it’s because we don’t really know what else to say. Christmas is a wonderful time, and Santa makes things fun and exciting for all of us—along with the other traditions of the holiday season. But as I hear these comments more and more, it makes me wonder what we’re really teaching our children about life … and especially about God.
Looking back and remembering how much I struggled with self-esteem—always feeling I didn’t measure up to the standard of others—I wonder if trying to be good for Santa caused me to grow up thinking I had to be good for God or He wouldn’t bless me … or even love me.
Because children think they have to earn Santa’s approval in order to get gifts from him, do they grow up thinking the same thing about a loving heavenly Father? Actually, how many of us have that same mentality as adults? Do we boldly approach the throne of grace as the Word says, or do we shy away from God, believing we haven’t met the mark?
If this is something you struggle with, let me share some scriptural truth I’ve learned along the way: God is for me. He is on my side. He even promises to do battle for me when necessary. I am saved by grace, not by what I do. He covers me with His robe of righteousness. He calls me His child, His chosen, His beloved. He forgives me when I fail and strengthens me when I’m weak.
God does not play favorites; what He’s done for others, He’ll do for me. He accepts me exactly the way I am, but loves me too much to leave me that way. He loves me with an unconditional, everlasting love, and there is nothing I can do to change that. He has delivered me from guilt, shame, and condemnation. He has seated me in heavenly places with Christ. God sees me perfect and complete in Him. My name is engraved in the palm of His hand. His faithfulness is never
failing, and His mercies are new every morning. In every situation, His grace is sufficient for me.
Child of God, during this blessed Christmas season, know that your Father loves you, is intimately acquainted with you, and has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. Remember that you don’t ever have to worry about being good enough. Only God is truly good, and that’s the only thing that matters.
(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)
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