Chocolate Cake and Little Decisions

Chocolate Cake and Little Decisions

Sometimes it blows my mind how God uses our children in our lives to teach us things about Him or about life, or about the world and our condition. Things that we should have seen on our own, but it often takes the lips of a child to communicate it in a way that makes sense. I guess because we adults tend to convolute things or make them more complicated than they really are.

Last night, as we were having our family devotions before bedtime, Areyna had one of those revelations that became a teaching moment for the rest of us. In her classes at Journey Church, they’ve been memorizing Hebrews 12:1,

“Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.”

“Let us keep on running the race marked out for us.”

Quite frankly, it’s a verse now that our whole family has memorized (which speaks to the undeniable validity of children’s ministry and the reality of what it can accomplish. Thanks Aaron!).  Last Sunday, spinning off the theme of spiritual endurance, Areyna’s class was learning about temptation. So, as a part of our family devotions, and to reinforce her Sunday lessons, we were discussing moments in our lives when we’ve felt tempted to do something that we know we shouldn’t.  I tossed the question out there to Rainy and Zeke and asked them to give examples of moments where they were faced with this difficult decision.

Immediately, without hesitation, Rainy spoke up and told us about a time, months ago, when her cousins were at our house and the parents were all distracted and talking in another room.  She told us that she was tempted to eat some chocolate cake that was perched on the kitchen counter while no one was looking. But then she said that she just decided in her heart that that would be the wrong thing to do, so she didn’t eat it.  An opportunity presented itself that no one would have known about, and she purposed in her heart to make the right decision.

Of course we praised her as we sat together on the couch last night, hearing this account for the very first time. And we encouraged her to continue making these kinds of right decisions when it comes to temptation.  And then it hit me. One of my daily prayers for my kids is that they will maintain soft hearts toward the things of God and toward the Gospel all the days of their lives.  And here was a case-in-point–a single act of sensitivity toward the things that honor God–exactly what we’ve been praying for.

It’s no small thing is it?  Isn’t it the small battles with temptation that we face everyday that ultimately determine what path we’ll take?

A bite of chocolate cake.

A glance at an underwear ad.

A sip of a cocktail.

A small verbal infraction about someone who’s not around.

An exaggerated piece of information.

A slight skewing of numbers on an income tax form.

Pretty soon, what began as a small concession to a seemingly tiny temptation, leads to a full-on sinful addiction.

The bite leads to gluttony.

The glance leads to a pornography addiction and adultery.

The sip leads to alcoholism.

The loose tongue leads to forest fires of burned relationships where gossip and slander are the fuel.

You get the idea.

The truth that Areyna reminded us of last night is that the small decisions matter–possibly more than we realize. And that it takes a soft heart, a heart purposed and set on running the race that God has marked out, to avoid the temptation that creeps around every corner, waiting to waylay us at every turn.

2 Responses

  1. This is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing and giving us a peek at what happens in the home.

    I am thrilled and will be sharing this with our team.


  2. Mom says:

    Thanks so much Josh. This post really spoke to my heart. Please tell Rainy that I am very proud of her and because of what she shared, it will help her Meme to purpose in her heart to avoid temptation too.

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