My two daughters are here for the Christmas holiday and decided to watch Elf on TV last night. It is one of my favorite moves with Will Ferrell playing the elf. It depicts Santa with a huge book of those who are naughty and those who are nice. The nice list are those who get to enjoy the presents from Santa that they wanted for Christmas. The naughty list are those who didn’t act so nice during the year and have their wish list rejected.
We all know the story of the nice and naughty list. What hit me this year was my perspective of the lists. I have always put myself on the nice list and never on the naughty list. I have mostly treated people I come in contact with with respect and given them value. I have opened the door for the most part for my wife and others. Often I have sought to give value to service people and used their names when interacting with them. I am for the most part a good person.
Yet I found myself watching the movie with a horrible attitude toward a family member. A nice guy having a naughty thought. When I thought about this more, I began to realize that I am not so nice at all. This is not the only time where my attitudes for others have not been so nice. There are times when I don’t treat others with the respect they deserve. I have not always opened the door to others. My driving habits have not always been with grace especially in the day or two leading up to Christmas, especially in the parking lots. In fact I found myself relating more to the naughty list than the nice list. Naughty ones don’t deserve to receive the gifts they want at Christmas time.
I didn’t deserve any gift, but God 2000+ years ago brought forth His Son, born of a virgin that we celebrate for Christmas. Jesus lived on the earth for some 33 years, and gave His life so that we could be forgiven for all the naughty things we have said, naughty things we have done, naughty attitudes we have had. I am on the naughty list, but Jesus came to bring forgiveness for those things so that we could receive the greatest gift, forgiveness and cleansing for our naughtiness and be put on the nice list.
On this journey as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it might do us well to recognize that all of us are on the naughty list and are in need of forgiveness. What a gift we all can have if we only put our trust in the one who gave us the greatest gift of all. His Life.