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Why I Had to Send Back My Elf T-shirt

A few weeks ago, Jamie and I worked at a Men's Event. During one of the breaks, I was flipping through my phone when I saw that one of my favorite stores had just released its Christmas t-shirts for 2022. Loving Christmas and its material, I looked immediately to see what was available. Quickly my eyes fell on an Elf t-shirt I wanted last year, but because I waited for a sale, it sold out, and I couldn't get one. Well, not this year! Knowing my break was ending, I quickly put the T-shirt in my cart and checked out. Then I went back to work.

It wasn't until the next day, when I looked at my confirmation email, that I realized I'd made a huge mistake. Unlike last year's shirt, the elf quote on the front of this year's model had a giant "OMG" printed on it.

Honestly, I didn't notice it when I ordered it. (I was distracted and busy.)

Watching the movie, I didn't even remember that being part of the quote from the movie.

Yet, there it was in big, bold letters, and I immediately knew I had to return the shirt.

For a moment, I thought, "Do I really have to? I'll have to pay to ship it back. Is it that big of a deal?"

But that thought could only last a moment because I knew it was that big of a deal. The Bible clearly says, "You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name." (Deuteronomy 5:8, NLT)

In the New Testament, Jesus takes it further and says that God's name should be "hallowed ." "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.'" (Matthew 6:9)

And yes, I know that it's just an abbreviation (but we all know what it stands for). And I am aware that this phrase is so ingrained in our culture that we all struggle to keep it out of our speech patterns.

But since when is "everybody else is doing it" an excuse to sin!!

As a follower of Christ, I can't wear a shirt that disobeys the Bible. Even more, I can't wear a shirt that degrades the holy name of the God I love and serve.

Why would I want to?

After all, isn't Christmas a celebration of Jesus' birthday? How rude is it to do something that offends the guest of honor at their birthday party? Instead, we should be honoring Him.

This reminds me of a point I've taught over and over again: Christmas is not a time to compromise.

Rather than using the excuse, "But it's the holidays," to disobey God's rules, we need to maintain an even deeper commitment to obeying God's commands as our way of showing that we love Him and want to celebrate that He came to earth.

Remember, sin is still sin, even during the holidays.

Christmas doesn't give you an excuse to drink alcohol, mistreat people, or even overspend and disobey the Bible's financial principles. Because you love Jesus and it's His birthday, we're celebrating. Even during the holidays, we must stay away from evil and do good.

This year, for me, it meant returning a super cute t-shirt. Whatever it means for you, I pray that this Christmas, the story of God sending His Son to give all for our salvation inspires you to abandon all compromise and follow Him more passionately and wholeheartedly.

May the phrase, "It's Christmas," remind us to give our all to the One Who gave everything for us.

May we stand firm in our faith, remain committed to our convictions, and shine the light of Jesus into a dark world as we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Don't Miss the Girl, That'll Preach Christmas Spectacular!!!!!

Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

Adessa absolutely loves Christmas!!! Her favorite things are decorating the Christmas trees (yeah, she puts up four in early November), watching Christmas movies, and driving around looking at lights. You can read more from her at or listen to the "Girl, That'll Preach" Christmas Spectacular wherever you get your podcasts.


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