So Be Bad For Goodness Sake?


Alright, Christmas Travelers,

are you ready for a pop quiz?

To get ready for this quiz, take a quick gander at the two quotes below:

He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake –“Santa Claus is Coming To Town”

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. -Luke 5:32

And now, here’s your quiz:

Which would be more worth the risk:  Saying you’ve been good all year in the hopes that Santa will come to you, or admitting you’ve sinned your way through much of 2016 in the hopes that Jesus will come to you?

See the distinction?

  • Santa claims to only come to good girls and boys, offering toys.
  • Jesus claims to come only for the sinners, offering repentance.

So what’s your move?  Do you go for the rewards that come if you can pass as “good”, or the reward that comes from admitting that, well, you’ve had some pretty bad moments too.

Wait.  You know what?  Don’t answer.

It’s not a fair question.

I mean, I suppose our culture brings out some version of the Jesus vs. Santa thing most every holiday season, but that’s not the way I mean the question is unfair.

It’s unfair because it’s asking you to choose between two things you should never have to chose between.

You should never have to choose between trying to be good and admitting you’re a sinner.

In fact, you should do both, a lot!  And not just at Christmas.  (And not just for the promise of toys).

You and I should live humble lives, aware of our fallenness, our mistakes, our holes.  Yes, we are the very ones Jesus came to redeem.

But at the same time, we should strive to live good lives.  In spite of our mistakes.  We should be proud of our goodness, but never proud, if you know what I mean.  We can humbly celebrate the ways we’ve lived a life of thanks to the God who has saved us.

Life is not a quiz laid out in black and white, or good and bad. We can only try to stay faithful, and humble, and honest as we travel the winding road of Advent, and beyond.

Funny.  People are always saying Christmas brings out the best and worst in them.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Have a great week,