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Faith Imagined: What! No Santa Claus?!

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

December 14, 2009

What! No Santa Claus?!

My twin sister and I were about seven years old when we found out there was no Santa Claus. My older sister, Shay, decided one day that she needed to enlighten us. My twin, Christina, took it pretty well. She was happy to be "in-the-know" and that she had a little secret of understanding about the grown-up world.

I, on the other hand, was devestated! My imagination was pretty much streamlined with my reality. The entire adult world tantalized me with images of Santa Claus, reindeer, elves and the North Pole; and my heart couldn't understand why I had been lied to all my life.

To say I was heartbroken would be a severe understatement. My mom knew me and my flair for the fanciful, so she sat me down and told me a story about a man named Nick who gave toys to little boys and girls who didn't have much.

What?! My little mind shouted. That doesn't even compare!

Needless to say, her story didn't help. It was like accepting a candy cane in exchange for a virtual candy land. I cried.

I tell this story not to dig up hurt feelings from the past (although, astonishingly, I still harbor a little resentment -- which I should probably let go). I tell this story to illustrate how differently God created each of us.

My twin and I have the same DNA and we were raised in the same home, yet we had completely different outtakes on the Santa unveiling. We feel life in our own personal ways, and the Holy Spirit interacts with us accordingly, which brings me to my holiday point. . . .

People are asked to obey a core set of commandments set in place by God. God created these laws because without them, the world would be absolute chaos. However, these commandments are for any Joe Schmoe. The Holy Spirit also convicts each Christian with tailor made commandments. The Holy Spirit knows our design, our past, our environment, our season and our purpose, and constructs a law-perimeter for our lives that will help rocket us towards our goals. Laws are meant to push us towards blessings and Christ-likeness; they are not just a frustrating set of rules to make our lives miserable!

Christians make two big mistakes when it comes to how the Holy Spirit convicts them (or establishes their tailor made law-perimeter): 1) We push our convictions on others 2) We feel guilty when we compare our convictions with others.

God has given each of us a set of laws that He wants us to abide by. We have to make an exerted effort not to take His expectations for us and place them on other people. We are not the Holy Spirit and our viewpoints are very limited. We have not walked in anyone else's shoes but our own. If God wants to use us to convict others, so be it. If people get mad, they should take it up with Him. . . . I'm sure He'll be more than happy to offer grace, provide comfort and pour on the peace!

Moreover, we must not look at others and their convictions and feel guilty that we are not doing the same thing. Comparisons can be devastating, and we would be better off if we just compared ourselves to how God sees us. God has a unique plan for each of us, and that plan comes with varying law-perimeters.

So during this holiday season, ask the Holy Spirit what are your tailor made commandments. Make a list, and try to follow them. Don't push them on others and don't feel guilty if yours are different than others. And when you get your list (which will change, so keep adjusting), be happy! Whatever you give up for God, He promises to bless you more than you can possibly imagine!

Don't forfeit God's blessings by seeking what the world has to offer -- it would be like giving up the virtual candy land for a petty candy cane.

Read the below verses out loud and proclaim them! You can stand firm on all of God's promises. Just imagine the possibilities!!!

If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:
God's blessing inside the city,
God's blessing in the country;
God's blessing on your children,
the crops of your land,
the young of your livestock,
the calves of your herds,
the lambs of your flocks.
God's blessing on your basket and bread bowl;
God's blessing in your coming in,
God's blessing in your going out.
7 God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They'll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.
8 God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he'll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.
9 God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.

Deuteronomy 28.1-9 (The Message)



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26 Comments:

Blogger K. Frangeskos said...

Hi,
Happy Holidays to you and your family!

See you again in the New Year!
Keep up your great work!!!

Sincerely,
Kath Frangeskos at
Jesus Knows You Best

10:54 PM  
Blogger Lacey said...

Comparison can be devastating. Thanks for your wisdom shared.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Triumphant Victorious Reminders Copyright © 2009 said...

Alisa...what an awesome post today!!! Wow! That is so good..thanks for the 'reminder' in this...I confess, "I can be that person at times that pushes my appointed convictions on others - or- can feel the measuring stick that I place on my own against myself and then 'feel' condemned." Thank you for your obedience to share!!!

5:54 AM  
Blogger Fruitful Vine2 said...

"Moreover, we must not look at others and their convictions and feel guilty that we are not doing the same thing. Comparisons can be devastating, and we would be better off if we just compared ourselves to how God sees us. God has a unique plan for each of us, and that plan comes with varying law-perimeters."

This part spoke to me so much this morning. I've been looking at others around me and find that I am not this or not that and it's of course not been a very peaceful place to be.

I've set time aside over the next few weeks to seek God to find His place and plan for me in this season of my life and as I read your post you spoke to my heart today in a way that only the Holy Spirit can use someone to do.

Thanks for the encouragement and continue writing and being a blessing.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

Thanks for this post!
It is a good encourager for me, and convictor, to realize God has different rules for us. I can get all judgmental and think wow that person does this or that. I have repented on this sin many times, and still work on it:)
I love your jackets in the Santa pick, it reminds me of my child hood:)

11:04 AM  
Blogger Sanctified Together said...

Such wise words but written in a way that is fun to read! How do you do it?!?!?!? Oh yeah... God!

Love you!!!

-Crissy

11:42 AM  
Blogger Life Laugh Latte said...

Great post. We love the Santa thing in our house, but it's funny that the kids have never noticed that not one single gift comes from him. Just the other day they saw that Santa's face was different in the pictures of them each year. I told them growing old does strange things to how we look. tee hee. You are very right as well about how God convicts us differently as he is the only one that truly knows our heart. Faith and obedience is a tricky topic to take on...well done! Wanted to tell you about my sister-in-law's blog. Her mission is to tell people about Jesus through her gift of homemaking. I think you'll love it! This is her latest post. http://www.sugarpiefarmhouse.com/be-merry-and-bright/comment-page-2#comment-10975

12:08 PM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

I hear you. On the tail end of good works, sits judgement. We do our good deed, and then we criticise others for not doing the same. Man, if doing good involves judgement later, then I will politely decline from doing it. May the God of heavenly compassion always be the beacon Who calls us into the light, and may we avoid the path of darkness altogether.

BTW, the two of you are adorable!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

So true! If we listen the the Holy Spirit's leading in OUR OWN HEART, and OBEY... everything will be okay.

I do not need to compare, feel guilty, etc...


Thanks again for this!

Hugs,
Traci

2:48 PM  
Blogger mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Alisa - thanks for visiting my blog the other day. I have enjoyed reading some of your writings. May God abundantly bless your ministry! And, please forgive your mom and dad for letting you believe in Santa Claus ;o) as an "older" mom (with two little ones still at home) I remember agonizing over how to present the "story" of Santa Claus, and it is really difficult to know what to do! So I always told my older children (when they were little) that it is so much fun to pretend about Santa. That seemed to work for them, and let them hold on to that childhood dream for a while, without actually saying that Santa Claus is real. Don't know if it worked or not, but it helped me as a mom feel like I was being honest with my children without completely shattering their Santa Claus fantasy. Have a wonderful day, and please stop back by my blog for a visit again soon. Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

2:55 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

This was a great post...I struggled with my "law-perimeter" for many years before my eyes were opened...still have to be checked by the Spirit on this sometimes....

3:02 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

What a great post. I struggle with having the same convictions or others and how others don't have the same convictions that I do. Thank you for the reminder that only God knows what each of us should be doing and that it can be different for everyone.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Melissa Miller said...

Thank you for the wonderful post Alisa! You are an amazingly talented writer.

Many Christmas blessings to you and yours! ~Melissa :)

9:22 PM  
Blogger Midday Escapades said...

This really spoke to me: "Don't push them on others and don't feel guilty if yours are different than others."

I've dealt with this before and even though the ones who did the pushing gave me some food for thought, it also kinda pushed me in the opposite direction.

Love this post and the vintage (ok, not that old, but I like that word) photo! Ya'll are too cute.

6:04 AM  
Blogger ~*Michelle*~ said...

This was beautifully written....thanks for the gentle reminder(s) about not placing our own expectation on others. I can be quite guilty of this at times.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

6:47 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

I am definitely guilty of the comparison thing. It is devastating and really, impossible. Your points were so right on! Thanks for sharing!
Blessings and Merry Christmas!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Corrie Howe said...

Great teaching today. I agree we fall into one or the other. Our pastor would say we fall to Legalism or License. Only through the Holy Spirit can we walk the law in the way of Grace.

I love Deuteronomy. I think it is my favorite book. And I love just reading The Message.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I use to constantly compare myself to others and created a set of standards that were not biblical. Balls and chains would have been lighter!

God's Word is non-negotiable and applies to everyone. We shouldn't be afraid to speak the truth in love and gentleness, but we do have to be careful.

We could be hitting someone over the head with truth about a minor issue all the while God is gently and persistently working on another area that is major!

Thank you for that!

Love in Christ,

Michelle

2:06 PM  
Blogger Rini said...

I feel that this is sort of dangerous, if one is not carefully reading the scriptures and living by it. In one way, this post could be interpreted as that a person could selectively pick out a commandment and ignore the rest that God said is a sin in the Bible.

But, once we do understand, and spoke with God with what is our 'law-perimeter' and live by that. For example, I can't in good conscience read Japanese comics or other forms of entertainment, but other strong Christians can.

Still, it's a very thin line to traverse.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

A personal law perimeter...I think that is so great. We do have our basic guidelines outlined for us in the Bible that all Christians should strive for...but you are right, God has additional things for each one of us as individuals for the call that he has on our lives. I love how you say that obeying these additional commandments that the Holy Spirit puts on our heart will rocket us toward our goals. I know that my relationship with the Lord grows by leaps and bounds when I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit's guidance and am quick to repent and turn from the sins that He has shed light on in my life. Thank you for the verses from Deuteronomy. And Merry Christmas!

5:10 PM  
Blogger OceanDreams said...

Loved this and thanks so much for the reminder. I think comparing one self with others is very easy to do, so it is great to remember that every one is unique and individual.

5:19 PM  
Blogger debbie said...

DEAR ALISA,
BEAUTIFUL POST...IT WAS ORDAINED FOR THE HOUR AS MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING MYSELF WERE THINKING ABOUT JUST NOT BLOGGING ANY MORE BECAUSE WE FELL INTO THE TRAP OF COMPARING OURSELVES TO WHAT WE FEEL IS SUCCESSFUL IN OTHER BLOGS AND ONLY GOD SEES THE FULL PICTURE IT IS A VERY PAINFUL PLACE TO BE WHEN YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE. (WE MAY NEVER KNOW THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN WHO OUR BLOGS MAY HAVE TOUCHED BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT DREW THEM THERE.)
SINCE AMY GRADUATED TO HEAVEN I HAVE FELT MORE THAN HALF OF ME WAS GONE BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE MY ONLY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER ANY MORE AND GRIEF MIXED WITH COMPARING HOW WORTHY I WAS IS LIKE WHAT MICHELLE SAID..."BALLS AND CHAINS WILL BE LIGHTER."
I HAVE FOUND THAT PEOPLE AVOID YOU LIKE THE PLAQUE IF THEY THINK YOU ARE "RELIGIOUS"...I DESPISE THAT WORD...I AM NOT RELIGIOUS AS YOU CAN RELIGIOUSLY DO ANYTHING...BUT I AM A WOMAN OF FAITH/BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN WHO HAS A 24/7 PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A GENTLEMAN...HE WILL NOT FORCE HIMSELF ON ANYONE BUT I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN. YES WE DO NEED TO BE CAREFUL BUT THE CHRISTIANS DON'T REALIZE WE ARE BEING CORRALED BY A WORLD THAT HAS BECOME SO HARDENED THAT CHRISTIANS ARE DESPISED AS MUCH AS CHRISTIANS DESPISE PORNOGRAPHY AS WE KNOW IT DESTROYS THE FAMILY AND THE PERSON HIMSELF/HERSELF. CHRISTIANS ARE VIEWED AS THE BAD GUYS AND THAT IS SOOO VERY SAD.
WELL I HAVE SAID TOO MUCH.
MY BROTHER WHEN HE FOUND OUT THERE WAS NOT A SANTA WENT INTO A RAGE AS HE FELT EVERYONE WAS LYING AND WE WERE NOT SUPPOSE TO LIE...IT WAS VERY SAD AND I TOLD HIM AS LONG AS HE BELIEVED IN THE SPIRIT OF SANTA, SANTA WOULD STAY ALIVE IN HIS HEART AND THAT SANTA WAS A ORDAINED HELPER OF THE LORD TO BRING JOY TO HIS CHILDREN....EVEN AT A YOUNG AGE HE HAD AN ANALYTICAL MIND AND THOSE ARE VERY HARD TO TOUCH...NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE WITH AN ANALYTICAL MIND BECAUSE GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU ALSO.
ANGEL HUGS
BEAUTIFUL POST DEAR
DEBBIE

5:07 AM  
Blogger lisasmith said...

beautifully expressed! love the truths!!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Libbie said...

I love the jackets in your pic...takes me back :)

It is a good reminder! I feel amazed all the time at how different my sisters & I are (not twins) we raise our kids so differently even! But we do all have Christ as the vine of our lives. We do deal with different sin & deal with it differently. I am hearing yor message :) Thanks!

11:18 PM  
Blogger Richele said...

Great post! What a blessing!

I hope I can return the blessing as you won my giveway for the 40 loaves book. :) Congradultions! Just email me where you want it sent! (richelemcfarlin@bex.net)

1:03 AM  
Blogger Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Great post and wonderful thoughts. I couldn't agree more!

Also thank you for leaving a comment on my blog!

8:26 AM  

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