My son had been caught lying in school, and as a punishment his iPod had been removed until further notice. Since trust is earned back gradually, my husband and I determined that we would allow him to earn back playtime on his iPod slowly, over time. After several weeks of good behavior with no lying he successfully earned back Tuesdays for 1 hour. After another week of good behavior he has earned back Sundays for 1 hour. We expect that eventually he will have earned back every day of the week.
Well as I was getting ready for bed tonight my son came in asking a question. This was a very interesting question since he and I both knew he had already reached his max amount of time earlier in the day. So this is the conversation that followed:
Son (asking at 9:30pm) - “Mom, is there any way you can find out on my iPod how many minutes I’ve played on it today?”
Me- “Why are you asking?
Son- “Because I want to know.”
Son- “Because I just wondered if there was a way to find out.”
Me- “What are you thinking of doing?”
Me- “Are you thinking of playing on it tonight instead of sleeping and wondering if there is any way I might find out?”
He was thinking of sinning and wanted to know if he could “get away” with it and not suffer any consequences. The game was not sinful, it’s a good game; however, disobeying your mother and father is sinful and he is not allowed to play more than 1 hour. So I asked:
Me- “Even if I didn’t “catch” you and I never found out, would you have really “gotten away” with it?”
Son- “Not really.”
Me- “True, because God would have known you were playing that game. You know that Satan is the tempter and he always comes to steal, kill and destroy. Since you love Jesus, and are saved, Satan cannot steal your eternal destiny, but in this instance what could he have stolen, killed or destroyed?”
Son- “My happiness, because when I really do earn all my days back I would have known that I didn’t really deserve it because I cheated and played at night when you thought I was sleeping.”
Me- “O.K., so Satan would have robbed your joy of finally achieving every day of the week back. What would Satan have killed?”
Son- “Uh, I’m not sure.”
Me- “He would’ve killed your internal “peace” because you cannot have true peace if you’re knowingly choosing to sin. What would Satan have destroyed tonight?”
Son- “I don’t know, but I know I wouldn’t have felt good about it later.”
Me- “Right, he would’ve destroyed your ‘goodness’. God wants to give you and have you enjoy all the fruits of loving, serving and obeying HIm. Remember the fruits? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control?”
Me- “Well, if you had disobeyed me tonight Satan would have stolen that fruit that God wants you to bear in your life. Little by little, the more and more you choose to disobey in any area of your life, more and more of that fruit will be stolen, killed and destroyed. All sin begins with a thought. I’m thankful that you shared your thoughts with me. God’s Word also tells us that when we are tempted He will provide a way out from under it, and we are told to flee temptation. How can you “flee” your iPod tonight since you are tempted to use it?”
Son- “Ask you to keep it in your room.”
Me- “Good idea. I love you”, I said as I reached for the iPod in his hand.
Son- “Love you too, Mom.”
Later I thought about myself and my relationship with God (as often happens after I discipline my own kids) and realized that I would be better off if I asked myself those same three questions when I’m tempted to do something that I can sense God is telling me not to do. Often times God asks us to not participate in, listen to, watch, eat, read or buy a certain event or item. These things are not always sinful by themselves, but God speaking in our hearts, asking us not to do something makes it sinful if we indulge. Even though I have become much better at obeying God’s voice in my heart, I must be aware that the devil will never stop trying to tempt me. Next time I find myself in a moment of temptation with the great deceiver, I am going to:
Ask God for His Word to resist Satan
Ask God to reveal to me all that Satan is trying to steal, kill and destroy with this opportunity to disobey Him
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.- John 10:10
Is there anything that Satan, the thief is trying to ‘kill, steal or destroy’ in your life? Jesus came to give you life, and life to the full!
Claim your victory in Christ and you will bear much fruit to the glory of God by calling on His great name and using the power of His Word in your life!