Wednesday, December 21

Accidental Invitations

Matthew 6: 19-24 and Luke 6:43-45

Teddy Bear is a stuffed animal and he can do things people can’t do. I find this is my four year old’s interpretation of what his favorite stuffed animal can and cannot do.

Teddy Bear is always up to mischief. Imagined—thank goodness. By my son has terrified me a couple of times. Like the time I heard, “Mom, Teddy Bear was in the bath, and he dumped all the water over the side, onto the floor and then he took his bath on the floor.” He tells the tails of Teddy Bear with the same fondness a mother yammers on about the cute thing her kid did jus the other day.

I have a feeling my son is testing my reaction to see if he could get away with carrying out the things he has imagined for Teddy Bear. Kind of a safe way to do it, I suppose. Also, in this Mommy’s opinion, stinkin’ adorable.

Lately, Teddy Bear has been asking anything and everything into his heart.

“Last night, Teddy Bear accidentally asked Iron Man into his heart.”

“Last night, Teddy Bear accidentally asked Legos into his heart.”

At first, I let is slide. It was kinda cute. Then I started to wonder if we needed to have a talk. So last night, I sat Teddy Bear down, on my son’s lap, and I tried to explain to him, in a way a four year old and a stuffed animal might understand how careful we need to be about who and what we invite into our hearts and how very important our hearts are. I hope he got the gist of it.

Just as I was pulling out “No one can serve two masters” and “out of the overflow of a man's heart the mouth speaks” I felt that uncomfortable sting of conviction.

I looked back at my week and the things I have “accidentally” invited into my life: busyness, anger, selfishness… I have served these masters. The first one leads to the other two.

No one can serve two masters.

The context is money, but the concept is applicable across the board. We cannot yield control of our life to sin and simultaneously live a Godly life. I know it’s a no brainer. But anger doesn’t seem sinful when there is play dough and feet and upholstery involved. Selfishness doesn’t seem sinful when what we want is so obviously more important. And busyness. It doesn’t have to be a sin, but when it runs our lives, we are serving it, worshipping it, and that sure is a sin.

What we invite into our hearts defines who we are. It doesn’t matter if the invitation is intentional or accidental, it’s there, and it effects our attitude, our actions and reactions and our words.

Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

I am so thankful for a constantly forgiving Father. He stands by us when it’s time to repent and kick out the unwanted guests, and also does the heavy lifting when necessary.

My son got the four sentence version of this blog post. I appreciate the opportunity to unload the rest of it on listening ears. I’m not sure he or his bear learned anything, but I know I did, and I hope you did too.

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