He’s making a list, checking it twice (all together now) he’s going to find out who’s naughty or nice…. ( I must say that was some awesome harmony) What if I told you that all of us have a naughty list? It’s true! Our naughty list seems to be longer than our nice list. The people on our naughty list are those who have done one or more of the following: insulted, irritated, embarrassed, betrayed, offended, hurt us, hurt our feelings, or hurt someone we like or just flat out ticked us off. Have you ever considered the fact that those on your naughty list are stuck there forever? There’s only one way they can get off our naughty list – if we choose to remove them from the list. Removing people from our naughty list requires us to give the gift that few people are giving this Christmas – the gift of forgiveness.
Now I know what you’re thinking why would I remove them from my naughty list – what’s in it for me? I thought you might ask that question – so let me share with you a few benefits of offering the gift of forgiveness this Christmas season:
…A decent night’s sleep – those aren’t sugar plums dancing in your head each night as you rehearse all the rotten things people have said and done to you.
…An end to isolation – the cold hard facts are that just about everyone we’re in a relationship with is going to offend us at some point or another. Can you imagine how lonely your life will be if people find out that there is a one strike policy with you. You can’t put everyone in your life on the naughty list. So maybe it’s time to revisit your list and give some on your list a “get out of jail free” card for Christmas.
…Forward movement in your life – people who refuse to forgive have a backward look in their life. They live in the past. They dwell on the hurts of the past. The result is they never live their present or future life. You’ve got so much life to live – don’t waste it by dwelling on the hurts of the past.
…A solid relationship with Jesus – And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matt 6:12 Jesus points out to us that we receive forgiveness in our daily lives based on how we forgive others. Here’s a thought – when we keep others on our naughty list – we put ourselves on God’s naughty list. When we forgive and take people off our naughty list – God takes us off of his.
I’m not saying that it will be easy to remove people from your naughty list this Christmas. But I am saying that you can give something this Christmas that can’t be found on Black Friday or Cyber Monday – the gift of forgiveness.