The Reason For The Season

They say that confession is good for the soul. I have a secret. One that has made many people gasp at just the thought of it. This secret is extremely scandalous, especially during the Christmas holiday season. Are you ready for my secret? Brace yourselves, here it is;

We don’t tell our kids that Santa is real!

This was a decision my wife and I made even before our first child was born. It wasn’t a popular decision with those closest to us. And I heard some great rebuttals to this decision from close friends. They would say things like, “You’ll ruin Christmas for them” and “Taking Santa out of Christmas is almost un-American!” No doubt it was a tough call. But we didn’t base this decision on the happiness of our children or on what other people might think.

We pulled Santa from Christmas due to scripture.

Many people say they feel so uplifted reading the Bible. Although this is true, Ive felt more convicted in my time in the word than anything else. I read the scripture about Jesus and His disciples, how they faced bitter persecution. How they left the comforts of home and sought the approval of God rather than man. I read of men like the apostle Paul, who actually counted suffering as a blessing and material things as garbage all for the utter joy of knowing Christ. And I see in the Bible I’m not the point of the story but rather Jesus Christ is the point of everything.

And then I look at Christianity in America today. And I don’t see the same commitment. I don’t see the self denial that were characteristic of the great men of the faith in scripture. Instead, we have become a consumeristic culture, and Christianity has become molded into a weekly routine and a seasonal event that makes us feel good. Our society is not built around downsizing for Christ, but upsizing for self.

This is especially obvious during Christmas. Sure, we have our Christmas themed church services, and we sing about the baby Jesus, but ultimately, Christmas in our country has become more about presents, the Christmas tree, and a mythical fat man than it is about Jesus.

The decision not to do Santa with our kids was a decision that didn’t come easy. But the more I read the Bible, the more convicted I became that Santa was overshadowing Jesus. Here are some things to consider regarding Santa.

1.) We tell our kids, “Santa sees you when your sleeping and knows when your awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good as well!” So from this, we can take away that Santa is omnipresent, or able to be everywhere and see everything at one time.

“Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord..” Jeremiah 23:24.

Jesus is omnipresent as well. In fact, while we tell our kids the myth that Santa makes all the toys, the truth is even more amazing that God made everything!

2.) We tell our kids that they will be rewarded for their obedience with toys and if they are bad, punished for their rebellion.

The Bible says that the obedient children of God will be rewarded as well by Jesus Himself, while those who rebel to His Lordship will be eternally punished. Jesus is the true giver of all good things, not Santa.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

3.) We tell our kids that Santa is eternal.

So is Jesus.

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17.

We’ve taken the attributes of God and placed them on an imaginary figure named Santa.

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22.

A person who lies is an abomination to God according to the scriptures. Think about this for a moment. When we tell our children that a man dressed in red, riding high in the sky with flying reindeer will bring them gifts if they are good, what are we doing?

We are lying to them.

We are lying to our children. I’ve had people try to rationalize this one way or another, but as nice as we try to make it sound, the truth of the matter is we are telling our children something that we know is not true.

No doubt this bothers some who are reading. And the fact that you are disturbed is totally understandable. This is how backwards our society has become in terms of Christianity! We are more comfortable with a lie and would rather do things like they’ve been done for hundreds of years rather than really look at scripture and come to the conclusion that just because we’ve done things one way for a long time doesn’t mean its right.

When I was in first grade, the other boys and myself would play fight. I would ball up my fist and pretend to throw punches as if I was a superhero. However, when I made a fist, I would always tuck my thumb inside of my fingers instead of wrapping it across the top. I did this for years until someone finally told me the proper way to make a fist. At first I thought my way had to be right because I had been doing it that way for years. But then I began to see that if I would have gotten in an actual fight and threw a punch with my thumb tucked in my fist, I would probably break it.

Im not saying that doing Santa is sinful or wrong. Im just asking that we would begin to filter everything through scripture and not tradition. If taking Santa out of Christmas ruins the holiday season, then that should show us that our focus has been severely wrong all along. Ive found that for the most part, people are more offended by the thought of Santa not being in Christmas than the thought of Jesus not being glorified during this season. Some would say we are taking this too seriously. Then again, Jesus took me pretty seriously when He exchanged His life for mine on the tree of Calvary.

Lacy and I gather the kids together like everyone else and decorate our tree as a family. We hang stockings from our chimney. We get our boys reasonable presents. But we don’t make it all about the presents. Instead, we use this time to point everything to Jesus. If we truly claim to be followers of Christ, it is imperative that we take His word seriously.

We always hear during this time the phrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” If that is true, then why do we make so many others things the point of Christmas? Enjoy the Christmas season, the presents, the tree, and all the captivating things that accompany this time of year. Just don’t make them the point. And in regards to our kids, whether you do Santa at your household or not, be sure to use Christmas as an opportunity to teach them the Gospel. That Jesus was sent from God, born into flesh just to die for our sins, rising again victorious having defeated the evil one eternally so that we might be saved. That is the greatest gift of all.

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