Monday, June 15, 2009


Have you ever noticed that you do not have to teach a child to sin?

We teach them to walk, to talk, to hold a fork, to drink from a cup, to blow their nose, to swing, to tie their shoes and a hundred other things. But, we do NOT have to teach them to sin!

We are all born with a sin nature, fallen descendents of fallen Adam. We cannot NOT sin. We are born spiritually dead, but physically alive. But when we, by an act of faith, choose to put our trust in Christ, we are made spiritually alive. We do not, however, lose our sin nature. It is still very much alive and well! The difference is that we now have a new nature as a result of our new birth IN CHRIST. The Holy Spirit has come to take up residence within us and He desires to direct our thoughts, our actions and to guide us in the way we should go.

Now, unlike before, we have a choice. We can now choose to either yield to our old nature...the sin nature...OR we can choose to yield to our new nature and be directed by the Holy Spirit.

Our 3 year old granddaughter is a strong willed child and very independent. Neither of these is a bad thing. In fact, if that strong will is trained to yield to the Holy Spirit in the years ahead, it can be a great asset. But for now, she is a typical 3 year old. When there is something she does not want to do, she has learned how to stiffen her back, cross her arms, poke out her bottom lip and emphatically say "NO!" or "I Don't Want To!"

Recently I've been trying to teach her about the verse from the Bible that says "Children, obey your parents" [and Mimi and Papaws, etc]. The other day as we were reading one of her favorite books, Peter Rabbit, I saw a great object lesson. I began to explain to her how Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail were good little bunnies because they obeyed their mother; but Peter Rabbit was a naughty bunny because he did NOT obey his mother and he got into all kinds of trouble. I went on to explain that because they obeyed, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail got to have a dinner of blackberry pie and cream whereas because he disobeyed, Peter got into all kinds of trouble, lost his clothes and nearly lost his life. Now while the good bunnies were feasting on pie and cream, he was sent to bed with some nasty tea because he caught a cold from hiding in the watering can.

Kyleigh listened intently as I explained. Then I asked her, "So, which would YOU like to be like....the good little bunnies: Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail or the naughty bunny Peter?" She thought a minute and then with an impish grin she said, "I want to be like the naughty bunny!!" The honesty of a child!!!

I say honesty because is that not exactly how many of us feel sometimes? When faced with our choices, don't we often really WANT to do wrong thing? That is our sin nature egging us on. When someone ticks us off, we immediately think exactly what we'd LIKE to say to them. It is a choice. We can yield to our sin nature and do or say what we feel like doing. Or, we can yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show us what we really need to do or say. Because in the end, although the pleasures of running amuck through the garden trying to flee the gardener might give us a momentary thrill, wouldn't we really rather be home eating blackberry pie and cream ?

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