Oh, come on… You didn’t seriously think I could stop with one lesson from my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, did you? Here’s another great takeaway… As Buddy “the Elf” grows up in the North Pole, he is trained along with all the other elves about Elf culture. He learns that there are three points in “The Code of Elves.” What we learn from one of those points is that, “There’s room for everyone on the nice list.”
Everyone. I like that concept. I’m a people person. I like to include people rather than exclude them. I like big teams, big groups, big clubs, big crowds. Where there are lots of people allowed in, someone has an open heart and open arms. And “the nice list” has room for everyone.
In other words, we can each choose to be nice… today. We can choose to have a great attitude even when things don’t go our way. We can choose to be generous even when our funds are low. We can choose to love and forgive and release even when people have treated us wrongly. We can choose to help someone out even we are tired and don’t really feel like it. We can choose to smile, give, serve, help, and love. We can choose to speak words of encouragement, hope, kindness, dignity and joy. It’s called being nice. And we can be added to the nice list today by our choices.
This concept of Santa having a naughty and nice list isn’t anything new, though. God has a list that He will check as we each face eternity. It’s not a list to be scared of because He has made a way for everyone to be added to His “nice list.” He doesn’t expect us to be nice enough on our own to make the list. He sent His Son, Jesus, as the perfect nice list Guy, who would take our punishment… you know, for those times when we aren’t quite so nice… so that each of us could be on that eternal “nice list” no matter how naughty we’ve been up to this point.
Better yet, He helps us to be nice as a reflection of what He’s done for us… It’s like He put us on His “nice list,” and then said He would help us live that way. II Peter 1:3 tells us, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” That means, if we will choose to be nice today, He will help us live it out.
Some people think they are stuck as “Scrooges” in life… that there is no hope of them ever making the nice list… but that’s just not true. If we learn anything from my favorite Christmas movie, it ought to be that people can change… can have their name moved off the naughty list and onto the nice list. And while Santa may be fictional in the way we know of him today, God is most certainly real. He wants to help you be nice all throughout your day.
So, whether you’re on the field, on the job, or even on your sickbed today, ask the Lord to put you on His eternal “nice list” and then help you to make the choice to live like you’re on it!