We decided not to tell our children there was a Santa Claus. That was our choice and I certainly don’t judge other parents who decide to go along with the whole Santa thing. It may sound silly to some and even ridiculous to others for us to take that position, but for us, we just didn’t want to have to someday tell them we lied about it.
I do remember one time talking to my daughter, when she was around five, who, because signs and talk of Santa were everywhere, was starting to wonder if Santa was real. I talked truthfully to her and asked her how one man, in one night, could get into every house in our neighborhood. and not just our neighborhood, but the whole city, and the whole state, and the whole world?
Then there was the time when she lost her first baby tooth and wanted to put it under her pillow overnight because, as she informed me, “The tooth fairy will come and get it and leave me some money.” When I asked where she heard about that, she told me a friend at school told her.
I then had to explain to her it was not true; even though countless kids believe it to be so, it is simply not true. We did our best to raise our children to believe what was true, regardless if anyone else believes it. Truth is truth whether anyone believes it or everyone believes it!
The important question is not, “What do you believe? or, “What position do you take on a particular issue?” Rather, what’s most important is, “Why?” Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you take the position you take?
Don’t Offend Anyone
I told our children as they were growing up that they would never, ever be able to please everyone, so stop trying. People won’t like you because you don’t do that, and others won’t like you because you do do this. My counsel to them was always to simply believe what was true, do that which is right, and be lovingly considerate of everyone.
But our culture today is fast becoming a culture of forced compromise guised in words like tolerance and love. As a result, people are not only becoming afraid to speak what they believe is right because it might offend, but some are even being taken to court because of their Christian beliefs.
But aren’t we Christians supposed to be loving to everybody? Of course! We are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the epitome of love! But there were some occasions when he definitely offended some people.
Jesus gave counsel to a young rich man who didn’t really like what Jesus told him and walked away sorrowful. One occasion, after he taught, Jesus’ disciples told him that what he just taught offended some of those listening.
He overthrew the tables of the dishonest money changers in the Temple. Once, when he was in the process of healing a man with a withered hand, Jesus looked on some of those around him with anger for the hardness of their hearts.
On a visit back to his hometown, people were offended by him. At one point, his immediate family thought he was beside himself (crazy). On a number of occasions he confronted the religious leaders with the truth and they were so offended they eventually orchestrated his arrest and murder.
Of course I’m not advocating we go around and try to offend people; Jesus didn’t, and that’s not my point. Jesus went about doing good, bringing deliverance and God’s love. He also spoke the truth of God’s Word to people.
Remember how kind, loving and forgiving Jesus was to the woman caught in adultery? But he also told her to go and sin no more.
It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe!
Again, it goes back to what is truth; it’s not what I believe, but why I believe it. Just because I believe something doesn’t mean I’m right. Just because you believe something doesn’t mean you’re right, either. Truth is truth whether anyone believes it or everyone believes it!
Logically then, there must be a standard for truth. The standard for truth is the Bible, rightly understood, which is God’s Word. Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth.”
But if there is no standard for truth, then everyone can believe whatever they feel is right for them at that particular moment, and they will of course be right in their own eyes. Some choose that course and add a little spirituality and determine for themselves what they think God finds acceptable or not acceptable. They have a god of convenience. Welcome to the 21st century!
Meanwhile, we are cautioned every day to not criticize anyone, either directly or indirectly; do not offend anyone, no matter what they believe. Perhaps Rev. Billy Graham summed it up best when he said, “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.”
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
I am highly in favor of extending the love of God to everyone, but love is not compromise. Jesus Christ was the embodiment of love, but he never compromised the truth of his Father’s words.
I choose to love everyone to the best of my ability, but I will not compromise what I believe is true. And, I will not remain silent out of fear, but rather, I will speak up when I believe it is right to do so.
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