Naughty or Nice

As Christmas approaches and more people talk about buying gifts, taking pictures with Santa, and decorating, the topic of making the naughty vs nice list tends to come up as well. Not only was I in a conversation about this topic last week, but it was also mentioned at church this past Sunday which confirmed wanting to share what has been on my heart.

If you looked back this year which list do you feel like you deserve to be on? The Naughty or Nice list? Several parents tell their kids that if they have been good and made the nice list they will receive gifts from Santa; however if they have been naughty and made the bad list they might not receive anything. At least, that is what the world says right? It asks, “Were you good or bad this year?”

The interesting thing that I had never thought about until a few weeks ago is that this is exactly the opposite of how a relationship with Jesus works. With Him, there is no ‘list’. There is no works based formula of “if this, then that.” It’s all about grace. Following Jesus isn’t about keeping track of what you have done right or what you have done wrong. It’s not about making sure you are on the nice list in order to get what you have been asking for. Following Jesus is solely based on His love. Once you make the decision to accept Him as Savior you are automatically on the nice list. It doesn’t matter what mistakes you have made or will make because He doesn’t punish you for your sin (Psalm 103:10). Instead, He forgives you, loves you, pursues you, and gives you good gifts.

Your relationship with Jesus is based on grace. You will never have to earn or buy a gift from Him, because Jesus has already paid for it all! Let’s stop teaching about religion and works! Let’s start teaching about grace! Remember the good news today – you are on His nice list! 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Naughty or Nice - In Due Time Blog

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29 Comments
  • Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
    Posted at 08:21h, 09 December Reply

    Such a beautiful truth!! Great post dear!

  • Heather Jones
    Posted at 08:34h, 09 December Reply

    LOVE THIS! I have never thought about the naughty and nice list this way! This year i’ve felt really against telling my children to be good cause santa is watching, I don’t want them to behave because santa is watching so they can be on the nice list, I want them to obey because they have a heavenly Father who loves them and I want them to pursue righteousness, not the “nice list”!

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy}
    Posted at 09:13h, 09 December Reply

    Yes! I love this! On the Santa note, I don’t plan on telling my children that because I think it sends the wrong message about being good to get gifts. But that’s beside the point :-p

  • Rhiannon Skeen
    Posted at 09:15h, 09 December Reply

    Awesome words Caroline! I’ve never been a fan of anything Santa related and the Nice/Naughty list goes with him. I love how you pointed out Jesus is the opposite. It’s not work based. It makes me wonder if enforcing this or encouraging it with our children effects how they respond to Jesus? Great post!

  • Annette
    Posted at 09:40h, 09 December Reply

    Amen. Which is why I never used the “You have to be good…” although I did ask, “Do you want Santa to come?” 😀

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 09:53h, 09 December Reply

    This just makes me smile…
    i’d hate to think of the list I’d be on every year… every day…
    but what a gift WE GET when Jesus takes that list & says we’re all on HIS List if we accept him. YAHOOOO

  • Paige Allison (@anuncomplife)
    Posted at 10:56h, 09 December Reply

    While I’m Christian, I’m not of the persuasion that all I have to do is accept Jesus and I’m saved. I think it takes continual work and dedication towards being a good person and giving OTHERS grace (including myself)! Living a life more like Jesus is what puts one on the nice list, not just accepting him (in my opinion). Maybe you meant that by accepting him you live more like him… In which case, we totally agree 🙂

    And people still bribe their children with Santa?! My parents didn’t do that in the 80’s/90’s and I don’t do that with my babies now. How creepy! Don’t get me started on Elf on the Shelf nonsense either… So scary!

  • Dawn
    Posted at 11:51h, 09 December Reply

    Great outlook on Christmas!

  • Kelly @ Southern Komfort Blog
    Posted at 12:28h, 09 December Reply

    Yes yes yes!!! It’s by grace alone we are saved – works aren’t a factor in the grace equation. Of course, it’s because of that grace we’ve been given that spurs us to live a life more like Jesus. Love it!

  • tiffanyatouchofgrace
    Posted at 13:34h, 09 December Reply

    You make a great point Caroline. There is no list with God. If we live by His grace and in His likeness we will be saved.

  • Coupon Diva (@RealCouponDiva)
    Posted at 13:42h, 09 December Reply

    i’d like to think that by His grace, that I am nice 😀

  • Alonda
    Posted at 13:47h, 09 December Reply

    So true! Like many things the world has got this backwards. Thank God for grace!

  • Ally | The Speckled Goat
    Posted at 14:56h, 09 December Reply

    So true- I struggle with this way of thinking- that I don’t have to earn His love or favor is such a strange concept in such a “results-based” world.

  • Ris
    Posted at 16:12h, 09 December Reply

    We’ve told our kids that there’s no list. Our elf doesn’t report back to Santa. Bc of grace, their slate is clean every time they ask God to forgive their sins and He keeps no record of their wrongs! So we will give them presents so matter how many times they have sinned this year. If Santa didn’t bring gifts, Mom and Dad would fill up that room with presents- not Bc they DESERVE them, but Bc we LOVE them, just as Christ love us! Grace is unmerited favor! Was a great way to help explain God’s love. So our kids have a skewed view on everyone else’s Santa and I don’t care. For OUR FAMILY, there is no naughty list.

  • Ris
    Posted at 16:16h, 09 December Reply

    Cool that you thought this through about kids before you had them. I had an aha! moment AFTER having kids and had to answer this question on the fly with Dax one day. (Btw, our elf just goes back to the North Pole to pass on Wish List ideas to Santa, lol- he’s not a tattle tale elf, haha)

  • Marissa D (@Reading_List1)
    Posted at 16:32h, 09 December Reply

    The only if this, then that with God is, If you seek forgiveness and have faith in the one true God, then you will receive eternal life…. not real mention of our works an efforts… great insight! 😉

    Marissa

  • Lily
    Posted at 16:42h, 09 December Reply

    Absolutely true, Caroline! I adore this!! xo

  • Johanna @ Devoted To Maker
    Posted at 17:47h, 09 December Reply

    Love this and you are so right! God gave us everything perfect even when we were in sin. Thank goodness He is always good to us even when we aren’t deserving of it!

  • Brianna George
    Posted at 20:50h, 09 December Reply

    That is the greatest gift…one that I m so grateful to receive.:)

  • torthuil
    Posted at 21:25h, 09 December Reply

    I’m not even religious but Jesus is 100x more appealing than Santa Claus haha.

  • Beka
    Posted at 21:47h, 09 December Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s interesting and sad to me that Christmas has turned to a works based event especially since Jesus came to rescue us just from that!

  • Inspiration Indulgence
    Posted at 22:31h, 09 December Reply

    Great post. I had a friend tell me the other day that her pastor spoke in mass, “If when you get to the gates of heaven and Jesus publicly announces all the good things and all the bad things you did in your life, would you want people to know?” Makes you think about integrity and who you are when no one is looking.

  • Vanessa
    Posted at 00:42h, 10 December Reply

    Such a neat way of looking at it! Great perspective!

  • Andi Franklin
    Posted at 15:48h, 10 December Reply

    I love this, because it reminds me to extend grace to my children just as God has done with me.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 09:16h, 11 December Reply

    Amen, it is all about His grace and love!

  • Autumn
    Posted at 19:02h, 13 December Reply

    Honestly, the naughty and nice thing always made me sad because it seems more like a threat to children than it does anything else. I love how you bring it down when you say that Christ doesn’t keep us a list, He is always just waiting for us to take advantage of His gift. Thank you for this post!

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 17:13h, 16 December Reply

    Psalm 103:10 is one of my favourite verses!! In fact, I am working on memorizing (not my forte, but I’m getting there) the whole chapter simply because of that one verse!

  • MidMichiganMom
    Posted at 22:53h, 16 December Reply

    You are right on! Thank you for sharing with us on Welcome Home Wednesday!

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