Santa Claus And Satan

At Christmas we sing a song with our small children about Santa Claus coming down the chimney with presents on Christmas Eve. The song warns the  kids to watch out, don’t cry and don’t pout. Later in the song we tell these naive little peeps that Santa knows all about them, when they’re asleep, when they’re awake and when they’ve been good or bad.

When we grow up Satan tells us the same thing, doesn’t he?  Especially the part about knowing when we’ve been good or bad. Santa brings toys to girls and boys whether they’ve good or bad.

Does Satan care when we think we’ve been good? Yes. Does Satan care when we think we’ve been bad? Oh, he loves that. Why does he care if we think we’ve been good or bad? Because then he knows we’re hung up on a bunch of rules. We compare our good behavior with our bad behavior, or our behavior with other people. That’s a field day for the evil one.

So many Christians struggle with their behavior. They condemn themselves when they misbehave and they struggle to do all the right things for the approval of others and of God. Romans 8:1 says, “For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” None. Jesus freed us from all condemnation by his sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

But, oh, how Satan likes to remind us of our bad behavior.  He has plenty of condemnation for us. He loves to tell us how bad and unworthy and sinful we are. He likes for us to do good things, so he can remind us of the bad things we do. We can walk the little old church lady across the street and feel good for doing something for someone else. But then Satan says, “Oh, but you remember that time your handicapped neighbor asked you to mow his lawn? You played golf with your friends instead. Remember?

So we try to keep from doing bad things and work real hard to do more good things. When they tried to label Jesus as “good,” he asked them, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Luke 18:19. So it doesn’t help us to try to be good. We can’t.

That’s why I don’t make any New Year’s resolutions. I always break them. The same goes when many Christians try to improve their “Christianity.” We hear them vow, “I’m going to pray for 15 minutes every day,” and “I’m going to read the Bible every day.” or “I’m going to serve the church on seven committees this year,” or I’m going to tithe.” or “I’m going to witness to one person every month this year.

What’s usually the outcome?

They don’t do it. They fail to keep their commitments to themselves. They might for a while. Some might even follow through (though I’ve never known any one who did). Something or someone distracts them and they skip off down some rabbit trails. Then they don’t read the Bible for three days, so they condemn themselves.  They feel like a failure because they didn’t do what they said they would do.  They didn’t follow their self-imposed set of behaviors (rules) and now they think they’re bad. So, they pray and promise God they’re going to do better and re-commit to all their rules.  Do you see a pattern developing here?

Many of us think being a follower of Jesus means we have to behave in certain ways. So we work and work and work at being good and doing good things for God. But at some point we fall, and we’re back into the condemnation game. It’s like a yo-yo. We do good for a while, then we do something bad. We can’t stay consistent. No one can.

Paul says in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Then in verse 5:17-18, “So now, no longer am I the one doing it but sin which dwells in me.” Paul says in Romans 5:18-19, For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”

God’s grace and forgiveness and mercy are not based on what we do, but who we are in Christ. We waste so much time and money and effort trying to do good things for God. All he’s asking you to do is believe, receive and abide. In John 15:5 Jesus teaches, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit (good), for apart from Me you can do nothing (good that will matter to God).” Parentheses mine.

Jesus does all the work. The life is in the vine. As we abide in Him (and do nothing else) He will do the good works God created for us to do. But when we try to add something to help God out, we can do nothing.

Do you think you’re not good enough to have a relationship with Jesus? Do you think He won’t understand? Well, Jesus loves you just like you are, just where you are and nothing you have ever said or done will keep Him from accepting you becoming your friend and Savior. If you’d like to know Jesus and how easy it is to invite him into your heart, follow this link.

This entry was posted in God and tagged , , , , , , , by Steven Sawyer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steven Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/. My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.

17 thoughts on “Santa Claus And Satan

  1. Pingback: new myth, old god (and the origin of heaven and hell on earth) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  2. I found you through our mutual friend, mt and I’m so glad! Great post, Steven! Whenever I think I AM good enough for God, I’ve forgotten who I am! You’re so right, it’s abiding time!
    Debbie

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    • Debbie,
      I’m so glad you found this blog. I hope you continue to be blessed. God give me all my subject matter. He just gave me some talent to type and think fast. I stay in His word. That helps me write more than anything.
      Thank you again,and God bless. Sorry for the delay in replying. I’ve had to moderate my comments because of a few people posted some nasty, anti-Christian comments. Things on here I didn’t want my readers to have to see. If it stops I’ll go back to allowing readers to comment and I can answer them in a more timely fashion.

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  3. This is a GREAT post! Something we Christians need to learn to do is to just let go. Trusting in Him in ALL things is what He wants. We get into a rut thinking we should be doing more. John the Baptist stated (paraphrase) that he was to become less and Jesus was to become more. If we try to see His work in us in that light, it becomes easier to let go.

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    • Susan,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. Your comment means more to me than you know. I’m glad you’re on board with us.

      Like

  4. Pingback: The Trellis and the Vine | Resting in His Grace

      • Steven, We are indeed on the same page — God accomplishes His work through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. God is good; let us thank Him for His gift of salvation. Thanks Carley

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      • Carley, No, No! Don’t be sorry. I want to thank you for pointing out the error. I want my posts to be right, especially the Scripture references. And it doesn’t bother me one bit that you pointed it out publicly. Just so it’s right. I have to proofread these blogs myself, as most bloggers do, and sometimes I miss things like that. But I am grateful to you for pointing it out. I consider it a big help. God bless you and thanks again.

        In Jesus’ precious name Steven Sawyer stevesaw@gmail.com https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/

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