As I shared before in the post, Your Soul is Like a Sponge , about numerous fears growing up. One fear I had was disappointing myself by being bad at Christmas. I loved Christmas because Christmas meant presents – lots of presents. And as the song goes, I had to be good for goodness sake because He was comin’ to town:
You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
He’s making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
He sees you when you’re sleepin’
He knows when you’re a wake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
During Christmas time, everything I did was going to be seen by Santa. Threats were given to tell Santa if I didn’t do something right. What eventually happened was growing up and turning my fear of Santa towards this Big Bad God. I had given my life to Him to save me from Hell, which I feared more than anything, but not to save me from myself.
Santa was like God right? Doesn’t God have a huge white beard and sit on the throne? Doesn’t God know when you are sleeping and when you are awake and He definitely knows if I have been bad or good? So like the song goes, I better be good for goodness sake.
But what if I wasn’t good for goodness sake? I loved God but what about the sin I kept committing? The impure thoughts and deeds I had done? Obviously, God’s love and blessing had to end for a time because of my actions and thoughts. He would not be coming to my house anytime soon. I was too bad and like Paul in the Bible, I was doing thing I ought not to do and not doing things I was suppose to be doing. (Romans 7:15)
Karen Armstrong, a British author and commentator known for her books on comparative religion, summed up these thoughts well, “. . . many of us have been left stranded with an incoherent concept of God. We learned about God at about the same time we were told about Santa Claus. But while our understanding of the Santa Claus phenomenon evolved and matured, our theology remained somewhat infantile. Not surprisingly, when we attained intellectual maturity, many of us rejected the God we had inherited and denied that he existed.” The Case for God (p.320)
My view of God changed when I took the Santa Claus view away and placed on Him the fatherhood view. This view dramatically changed my view of my God, my Father. Becoming a father even enhanced my view of Him. I came to the maturity that God likes me. He even loves me and my messy life with a love I can not fathom. I can not comprehend. He even loved me enough to be patient with my mess and love me hard out of my mess
As a father, my life is dedicated to my children. I blessed them with everything we can. Yet, Jesus said something which confounded my mind towards my heavenly Father, “Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” John 7:10-11
God is your father. He loves you and nothing – no sin nor action nor thought – could separate you from that love. You are the apple of His eye. He sings over you with love. No matter how ‘bad’ you have ever been, it could never separate you from God. His grace and mercy abounds beyond your messy life.
God is not mad at you. He is madly in love with you. So many were the days and years I thought God was mad at me and was so disappointed in me, I discovered He was always there and He never left me nor forsook me. Why? Because He was so incredibly in love with me and He is that much in love with you too.
Beloved, let us mature to this love. Let’s graduate and mature from the Santa Claus god to the real God who He is – our Father. Like Santa, cupid, and the Easter bunny, that god doesn’t exist. Let’s embrace our God who, as creator of the universes, is our Father who loves us no matter what.
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