The Santa Complex
As I was working to write the skit that Mr. Merkle (Matt in costume…shh, don’t tell any of our kids) and I will share with the kids on at Kingdom Kids, I was struck by something unexpected. Each week at Kingdom Kids, Mr. Merkle learns a lesson about living by faith instead of living by fear. We call it, “Faith Factor.” In this skit, Mr. Merkle chooses to put his faith in Santa this Christmas, instead of Jesus, because Santa always brings him gifts.
When Matthew and I entered full-time ministry, we confidently stated that God would provide 100% of our support in 100 days. We started in September with faith that God would provide, and that we had nothing to fear. The deadline for that goal is December 31st. As I looked over the numbers this morning, it didn’t look too promising for Matthew and I to reach that goal. Fear immediately crept in. I instantly started thinking thoughts like, “Well, maybe Matt should go back to his advertising job,” and, “his company before always gave him a dependable paycheck.”
Then, I looked at the Bible lesson that I was writing. I saw this common phrase being stated by the angels to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. “Do not be afraid.” Each time, the reason to not be afraid was because the Savior of the World was coming. Each person, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, all demonstrated their faith just after hearing those words of encouragement. Mary had faith that she could be carrying the Savior. Joseph had faith that he could still marry the women who was carrying the Savior. The Shepherds had faith that the angels were really pointing them to the Savior.
I think I was dealing with Mr. Merkle's, “Santa Complex.” Mr. Merkle had more faith in what Santa could give him this Christmas than what God could give him this Christmas. I had more faith that a normal advertising job could provide for our needs than Jesus, the King of the World, could provide for our needs. My faith was in a temporary solution for comfort rather than the eternal hope of glory.
This Christmas, I am hearing loud and clear in God’s Word, “Do not be afraid. The Savior is here.” This Christmas, Mr. Merkle and I both are learning to let go of our “Santa Complex” and have faith in the God who sent his only son, Jesus, to live here among us.