Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others. – Ellen DeGeneres
Reflecting on holiday traditions, I realized the focus is often more Old Testament narrative than New Testament. Think about it: the Santa narrative tells us to be good and do good. Otherwise, Santa will know you’ve been bad, your gifts will disappear, and you’ll get coal.
The Santa narrative is performance driven and echoes the Law – positive performance equals blessing, but negative performance equals punishment. The Jesus narrative is the opposite.
In our naughtiness, we are invited to approach God – no performance necessary. We come to Jesus because we’re aware of our wrongdoing. We are invited to acknowledge our sin before God – even the secret sin no one else knows about.
Is this intimidating? You bet. But Hebrews tells us God can already see us clearly, and still He invites us into His presence.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. - (Hebrews 4:13)
For those of us who grew up thinking God is a bit like Santa – giving gifts to those who earned them but coal to those who didn’t – I want you to know that Jesus is so much better. Yes, He sees us when we are sinning. But He sees us and loves us still. In fact, His gift of the cross is given to us because of our sin.
What freedom would you experience if you stopped trying to hide your sin from God? Would you exchange your hiding place for a resting place?
Father, thank You for seeing me from the perspective of the cross. I can relax knowing You aren’t looking at my performance record, but at the grace of Christ that covers me. If we need to have any conversations about secret sins this week, I pray Your Spirit will guide me in prayer, increasing my confidence in Your mercy and love. Amen.
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