Yesterday morning, as we were about to leave for church, the children were gathering their coats, Bibles, and offering money. Little Sister came around the corner with teary eyes and pouty lips.
When I asked her what was wrong, she held out our fist, unrolled her fingers to reveal 3 little pennies, and cried, "But I need this to buy toys!"
Oh, me. What selfishness our hearts reveal.
I explained how we give because we love Jesus and because we are so thankful for what He has given us. We thought together of all the blessings God has so generously bestowed upon us, while I am thinking, "Did Thanksgiving and all the many lists for what we are thankful just sail right over her head???"
When I reminded her of the importance of a "cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7), she quickly plastered an artificial smile on her face. I think for the 957th time, "Yes, we still have a long way to go with this one. . . . . . "
Of course, is this just 4-year-old thinking? As we begin the Christmas season and the commercialism and consumerism launches their attacks against us all once again, I can't help but see the same greed for "toys" everywhere I turn.
As I sat at my in-laws Saturday watching the Iron Bowl, I couldn't believe the low level to which some commercials stoop, trying to convince us all that life would truly be achieved if we just bought their products. (And perhaps this is not the appropriate post to address the Victoria's Secret previews. . . . )
Here's a news flash: We can't have it all. When we think we have bought what will truly make our hearts content, something new will be on the market. "Things" don't satisy. "Stuff" breaks, wears down, or becomes yesterday's news. It is a neverending game trying to acquire it all and satisfy ourselves with the things of this world.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
Even with our children, what are we teaching them with the commercialism of Christmas (and all year for that matter)? What message do we send? Are we communicating to them that it is better to lay up treasures on earth or treasures in heaven? What do you communicate?
In the Heart of Our Home,