Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The last three commandments.

Tonight's family time included commandment 8, 9, and 10. We thought these all went together since they often happen in connection with each other. So, we danced to the 10 commandment boogie. We all took turns reciting the 10 commandments from youngest to oldest. Then we discussed stealing; taking something that is not yours. To lie is to tell something that is not true. To covet means to want something that belongs to someone else more than you want friendship with that person. It's not wrong to want something or to think it would be fun but it is wrong to value those things over the people God has put around you. This is a difficult concept for adults, let alone children.

We decided to have an activity to describe how we get into trouble with these three commandments. The obvious activity was limbo. We looked up a limbo song on YouTube and used a broomstick. Josiah, Alayna, and Seth took turns going under. Each time we lowered the broomstick it became more difficult. After enjoying that for awhile, we sat down again. I asked, "do you feel like coveting anything right now?" "No," they said. "Do you feel like taking anything right now?" "No," they said. "Do you feel like telling a lie right now?" "No," they said. "I don't either." It was kind of like when the broomstick was up high. You did not have to do anything to difficult to get under it. Sometimes we do feel like coveting, taking, and lying about it. That is like when the broomstick was low and it was hard to avoid touching it.

So, the logical conclusion is to work really hard to avoid coveting so that you won't steal and then you won't have to tell a lie about it. Right? Wrong. I asked the kids, "do you have the power to not covet, steal, or lie?" They said yes. I said NO. I asked them again. They said yes. I said no. This time Josiah asked, "then what are we supposed to do?" This is a difficult question, but it is the right one. In adult language he was asking, "If I do not have the power to sin, and it is wrong to sin, and I want to avoid sin, but I can't avoid sin, then what do I do about it?" This is the right question that God wants us to ask about the "stuff" in our life that we covet.

Trying won't change our heart. God will. I taught them to pray, "Thank you God that you are more than enough for me. Thank you God that I don't need toys or things to have joy."

During this time of year when materialism can get the best of us, remember these paraphrases from God's Word: I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever stays connected to me bears fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son, does not have life. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. A man's life is not in his possessions. The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The Lord is my Shepard, I will not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside the still waters. Give me this day my daily bread. Store up your treasures in heaven. In that day when you reach eternal life with me I will have a place prepared for you.

When we have the desire to covet, take or lie, we need to remember to be thankful for what we have already been blessed with and most importantly to be thankful for the One who blesses us.

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