Monday, November 26, 2012

Elf On The Shelf

At risk of sounding like an old geezer...In my day, we didn't need Elf on the Shelf to remind us to be good.  That Santa was aware of our behavior.  We all knew the song lyrics:

You better watch out.  You better not pout.
You better not cry.  I'm telling you why.

Later in the song we learn...

He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

But nowadays  we do have this little elf helper who sits on a shelf as a very real, physical presence for our kids to see and be reminded that behavior is important...at least during this home stretch toward Christmas morning.  I must admit, this being the first year we've utilized such a silly tool, that it has its advantages.  As one of my six year olds begins to whine or display overt frustration, we have only to nod in the general direction of "Edwin the Elf" and they self correct.  They now think a little bit more about what they are going to say and do.  They now try much harder to discern good behavior and tighten up on quality control before just speaking and acting.

Yet, this lifeless, stuffed figure has no power at all.  It merely represents an idea.  There is only one that has the power to literally know when you're sleeping, know when you're awake, and of course see ALL of your good and bad deeds.  But how many of us just act or speak without even thinking?  How many of us just function as nerve endings, reacting to everything life throws at us...only being positive and "good" when our circumstances are within certain parameters?  How many of us need a physical reminder sitting on the shelf that God is watching?  How many of us would tighten up our quality control process or think twice before letting anger burst to the surface?

Thankfully salvation rests in the completed work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  But I want to challenge you and  myself to remember our actions are the vehicle by which we shine our light into this dark world serving as an act of worship and love as we follow our example and Lord.  You don't need an elf for 45 days to be a living and holy sacrifice.  You just need to remember who you belong to and who's example to follow!

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