Making Santa Happy
It’s the tried and true Christmas song that will be making its way through our speakers this holiday season – “Santa Baby.” We love it and just can’t get enough of it. It seems as though every artist from Taylor Swift to Madonna wants a turn to flirt with Santa. He’s an old man wearing a red jumpsuit, furry boots, eats way too many cookies, and has a record for breaking and entering . . . but hey, to each her own.
“Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree for me; been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.”
As we sit on Santa’s lap he will ask, “Have you been a good girl?”
We bat our eyes and strut our stuff as we, “think of all the fun we missed, the fellas we haven’t kissed,” and we show Santa that we’ve, “been an awful good girl.”
Some of the things on our list of “good girl” activities might include:
Going to church.
Had a “quiet time” most days.
Family worship with the kids.
Doing an advent calendar during Christmas.
Gave some clothes to the homeless shelter.
Keeping a tidy house.
Oh, and we even did a Christmas art project with the kids with real glue, scissors, and glitter . . . it was a huge mess too!
And then, of course, we have to list all of the activities we abstained from – you know, the “sacrifices” we have made (one less show a week on Netflix, a few less trips to TJ Maxx, etc.).
Santa, look at me! I’ve “been good for goodness sake!”
God Cannot Be Seduced By Our Good Deeds.
Often, we wrongly tend to put God in the same category as Santa. If I am really good this year, then God owes me something (happiness, joy, blessings, forgiveness, etc.). Yet the Scriptures teach us that God owes us nothing. In fact, if God owes us anything, it’s simply punishment and spiritual death for our sins. Because of our sin against God, we don’t deserve heaven and God’s blessing, but we deserve eternal separation from Him (Romans 6:23).
God is not “making a list and checking it twice” to find out “who’s naughty and nice.”
There is no need to make a new list, because the Bible tells us that by default, everyone is on the naughty list. “There is none that is righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). There are no “good girls.” When we hold up our list of good deeds in effort to impress God, it is like holding up a bloody tampon (Isaiah 64:6). Sick!!!
Regardless of how extensive and thorough our righteous “list” is that we present to God, He remains thoroughly unimpressed. He takes our list and throws it in the fire. No amount of flirting will win His approval. He will not be seduced with our imaginary goodness. No amount of zeal, performance, or effort can match the standard that He requires – perfect righteousness (Matthew 5:20, 48).
Oh, apparently, Santa “sees you when you are sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” I hate to be a scrooge but Santa just doesn’t have that kind of power. Santa is not all knowing.
God knows ALL things! He sees straight through all of the “pretty” exterior right into our ugly hearts. He knows our every desire and thought! My thoughts have the potential to scare the ‘Jingle Bells’ out of Old Saint Nick!!! God is not surprised by our sin, this is why He came.
“You better watch out; you better not cry: Better not pout I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town.”
Jesus came to town once already, and He is coming again. Why did He come? He came for the “pouters” and “criers.” He came for the weak, broken, frail, needy, and sinful. Unlike Santa, He did not come for the “good boys and girls;” after all, there were none to be found. He came for those of us on the naughty list.
None of us were good boys and girls who left milk and cookies for Jesus; the only thing we left for Jesus was the very sin that nailed Him to a cross. Jesus doesn’t want your milk and cookies, He wants your heart. Jesus didn’t come down a chimney wearing a red suit because we’d been so good; He went up to a cross – covered in red blood -because we’d been so bad.
So this Christmas, let’s not bat our eyes while seeking to show God our superficial goodness. Instead, let’s empty ourselves of the pride and self-righteousness, so that we can be filled with the greatest gift of all – the love Jesus Christ.
**For the record, I didn’t pull out the word “tampon” just for shock factor. In the original Hebrew text of Isaiah 64:6, the word “filthy rag” (used to refer to our righteous deeds) would have been something like the equivalent of the cloth a woman used on her menstrual cycle. Needless to say, when God inspired Isaiah to write this, He wanted to make His point – there is no good deed that we can do in and of ourselves that can impress God. After all, His standard is perfection.