Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Confessions of a Former Elf Hater

Mischief and naughty deeds done by The Elf on the Shelf are all over social media this time of year. Over the years it has done little to entice me to participate in his shenanigans. I wasn’t impressed. In the elf’s defense, I had never read the book.
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. John 7:24
I was so unimpressed with the elf that I opted to skip a women’s tea that I have attended for 11 years because the author, Carol Aebersold, was going to be the speaker. It wasn't personal, I just wasn't interested. I’m ashamed to even admit this.
When you’re forming your opinions,
Do it carefully – go slow;
Hasty judgments oft are followed
By regretting – that I know.— Anonymous
The tea was scheduled for last Saturday and amazingly enough, it snowed in Georgia, so it was canceled. The change in schedule caused several tickets to become available and I felt this stirring, this strong desire to attend. My kids were going to be with their dad so I wouldn’t need a sitter and my oldest daughter said she’d go with me.

It was a win, win and there were two tickets left at the same table. Score.

Carol came on stage and she was a beautiful and poised woman. She was funny and engaging, but what was most impressive was her faith in God. She appealed to us to get rid of negative self-talk, act on our ideas, persevere and defeat rejection.

It took all of five minutes for me to know why I was there. She was talking to me in many areas of my life.

She shared the story of how The Elf on the Shelf came to be and the tradition it has been in her family. Carol beat the odds and overcame rejection to do what God called her to do. She used an idea that had been in her family since her children were small. It was a great reminder of how God will use what is already in our possession to bring about His purposes.

Several months ago while in Nashville I was making small talk with a woman, we were talking about children and mom things and out of the blue she said, “I’m going to give you my opinion even though you didn’t ask for it. You don't need to attend another conference or read another book. You have everything you need to do what God called you to do.” I was shocked by her boldness and grateful for it at the same time.

I knew God was speaking to me through her.

We often think if I do this one more thing, take this one more class, read one more book, then I will be able to (fill in the blank).

Carol also addressed the “naughty” elf and the “mischievous” deeds. She said she didn’t know where all that came from because it wasn’t in the book.

It wasn't in the book. 

How many people reject or even hate Jesus because of the way we act? Because of our naughty and mischievous deeds? Can I go so far to say, “Our sin?” They reject Christianity and the whole idea of Jesus because of our poor representation. Many people have never read the book (the Bible) and assume that we are representing this Jesus, just like I thought the mischief and naughtiness were representing The Elf on the Shelf book.


Sometimes it’s us, the church, we reject Jesus because a fellow believer did this or that. They did a "naughty" or "mischievous" deed, they sinned, and we associate their behavior with Jesus. We write Him off because we don't want any part of a God who has such unruly children.

Be careful. 

Go back to the source, read the Bible.

Before you reject the main character read the book.

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