Christmas is a beautiful season filled with lights, love and tradition. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ – the fulfillment of the promise that God made, the waiting over and the ultimate gift came down to begin His rescue mission for you and I. Yes, that is what Christmas is all about. Love coming down. Through the years, families have made different traditions in celebration of the Christ child. Yet we need to be careful that we don’t equate tradition to holiness – or lack thereof.
Christmas has become materialized. I am not going to lie and say that it doesn’t bother me. However, lately what has bothered me more is the shaming and bashing that I have seen in the Christian circles when it comes to Christmas. I recently wrote a post about how Facebook was killing our testimony – and Christmas shaming is helping it die even further.
The week of Thanksgiving, the Black Friday ads came out. I was excited to see what deals I could get. I choose not to shop on Thanksgiving – but that is my choice. However, I did not see anything wrong with going out on Black Friday. My husband and I have shopped together every Black Friday we have been together. We don’t go out crazy early, we don’t fight with people over deals – but we do enjoy going out, shopping for our children and family, and getting a good deal.
Yet there it was. All over Facebook. Christians shaming other Christians who went out on Black Friday. Christians saying that those who were out shopping were materialistic. Suddenly, I felt horrible for being out shopping.
I had budgeted for that shopping trip. For months. I had cash in envelopes and didn’t plan on being a bad steward. I was out working on getting a good deal, making Christmas for my family, and having a date with my husband.
And I was shamed by my fellow sisters in Christ.
I was materialistic in their eyes.
Yet, many of them shared about the Cyber Monday deals they got.
What was the difference in shopping on Friday as oppose to Monday? As going out shopping or spending money online? On doing it the day after Thanksgiving or the 4 days after Thanksgiving.
There is no difference. It is an appearance.
For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
What about Santa? Yes, I said it. The jolly red guy who some children believe in. The man who was formed off of the story of St. Nicholas. Why do other moms feel the need to shame each other because one family chooses to do Santa and another does not? Some families don’t do Santa – and that is okay! Some families do it as tradition of St Nick – and that is okay too!
What about the Elf on the Shelf? Is it a fun, hide and seek game? Sure! Can it get carried away by shaming your children into behaving – absolutely. However, just because a Christian family has one does not mean they are bad – and just because a family doesn’t have one doesn’t make them holiness.
We need to quit stacking up holiness points – because they don’t exist.
You see, every time you stack up holiness points – points you have made, not God – you are building a wall. A wall between you and her- that Christian woman who was your friend until she posted the picture of the Elf on the Shelf. You are teaching your children to build walls. That we are somehow better than another Christian families because we don’t do Santa, or Elves, or Black Friday shopping. Or whatever else it is that you think makes you “better” or more holy then another Christian sister.
Instead of building one another up – we are tearing one another down.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
We tell our children the reasons we don’t do these traditions in a way that makes us sound good and them sound bad. Almost like we want our kids to think we are super parents because we don’t do those things. Maybe because we don’t want our kids disappointed because they might miss out. Whatever the reason, we teach our kids to build holiness walls.
These walls need to come down.
No, it isn’t wrong to not do Santa – or to do it. . Or the elf. Or even Black Friday Shopping. I understand why you choose not to. Yet, I don’t need you to shame someone because they choose to.
You see, you are not the Holy Spirit. I am not the Holy Spirit. This isn’t me judging you for shaming – because I have been there too. Too many times I have looked at my life, and thought my family choices were better then someone else.
It is time friends. It is time we let go of shaming others.
It is time we start tearing down the walls and start inviting people in. That we would start edifying and building up the Body of Christ. It is time that we would start showing love.
Because that is what Christmas is really all about – Love coming down.
Worshiping With My Life,