Lessons From An Elf- Part 3

I have been called gullible… naive… sheltered… innocent… too trusting… and the list goes on.  I get it.  It’s just the way I have chosen to live.  I choose to believe the best in people till they prove me wrong… and even then I believe there is hope for them to change.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy the movie Elf so much… because that’s the way Buddy the Elf goes at life.

As part of the Elf code of culture he is taught, he treats every day like Christmas.  He wakes up with joy… having worked some during the night to put smiles on the faces of those around him the next day.  He is generous… with his time and his possessions.  He is kind to everyone he encounters.

I suppose that’s why some people call this the most wonderful time of the year… because we all treat each other better.  (My personal reason is because of the increased focus on my best Friend and Rescuer, Jesus Christ.)  At Christmas, we often set aside offenses… we cut people some slack… we give more… we smile and wave more… we eat together more… we slow down a little and make memories.

Why can’t we treat every day like Christmas?  Why can’t we remember the real reason for the season and live in light of that?  Maybe we can’t afford to give expensive presents every day, but we can give some of our time to be with our family… or serve someone less fortunate.  Maybe we can’t keep up the Christmas decorations year-round (though I wouldn’t complain or get tired of them), but we can added extra little touches to everything we do to trim them with excellence.  

The point is, we CAN treat every day like Christmas… if we will.  Scripture points out that the same Holy Spirit who came upon Mary, enabling her to become pregnant as a virgin,  will come upon us and help us to live out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  And there is no law against living like that.  No one will stop you from being kind… or generous… or thoughtful… or joyful.

People may call you some of the things they call me… or Buddy the Elf… but you’ll enjoy life a lot more, and so will those around you!  So, let’s start today, and… treat every day like Christmas!

Lessons From An Elf- Part 2

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!

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