This is the Christmas season. Wherever we go, we hear Christmas songs from the television, radio, at the shopping malls. One of my favourite songs of the season is an oldie called White Christmas.
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know …”
Christmas I know, white Christmas I do not. When I was studying in England, I longed for but did not have a white Christmas. The day came, it was very cold, but no snow fell from the sky.
White is a popular colour. It gives us a sense of being clean – a crisp white shirt, a coat of white paint, a spotless white car. White also means pure and incorrupt. But wearing a white shirt does not make me pure and incorrupt. Even when I am clothed in a new white shirt, I can still be a crooked and unethical person. Only God can look beyond our appearance and straight into our heart.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
In this passage, we learn that men may rely on what they observe when assessing a person, but God looks at the heart of a person and He knows this person through and through.
We may deliberately put on a goody good shoe image but deep in our hearts, we harbour hidden sins, evil thoughts and grave hatred. The condition of our heart and our external behaviour do not match. On the outside, it is all clean and beautiful. On the inside, it is dirty and ugly. On the outside, it is a friendly and easy going person. On the inside, it is a hateful and judgemental soul. Who is to know, right? But God knows.
God knows and God is not pleased. Let us not even think that merely by doing more good things, we can somehow offset our willful, disobedient living and get on the good book of God.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)
When we are not right with God, even our occasional attempts to do good or right do not cut it with Him. To God, these acts are still like filthy rags – good for nothing and do not make us right with Him.
Is there no way to please God? Would we not be acceptable by Him? How do we get on to His good book?
God will help us if we confess our sins. God will help us when we acknowledge Jesus as our Saviour and surrender our dark side to Him. The outcome of believing in Jesus is astonishing – we are declared righteous! Instead of being unclean, we are now cleansed. Instead of being stained, we are in a state that is a deeper shade of white.
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)
God is no longer upset with us. He is now pleased with us. We no longer live to displease Him. Instead, through the help of the Holy Spirit, we live to honour and please Him in all that we do. We get on to the good book of God and more; we get into His book of life to enjoy eternity with Him.
Living a pure and righteous life is no longer an option. Out of thankfulness to God for our new life and an obedience to God our Master, we make righteous living our lifestyle with the help of the Holy Spirit.
This is the Christmas season. Wherever we go, we see people in festive colours of red, green or white. It does not matter the colour of your clothes. What is important is being white – pleasing God by having purity in our lives and our heart. Such a transformation is made possible for us more than 2000 years ago when Jesus came with a mission to save and cleanse us. Because of Jesus, we can be made pure.