What I Thought vs. What I Got

Last night we started our new fall series “The Biggest Lies We’ve Been Told.” We broke out into small groups and we heard first from our students – what have been the biggest lies you’ve been told.

Here’s what I thought would be some of the answers:

Everybody is doing it.
You’re too young to make a difference.
Just a little won’t hurt you.
No one will ever know.

Here’s what was actually said:

God doesn’t exist – he’s a crutch for the intellectually weak.
God could never forgive ALL of our sin.
We would never get a divorce.
I’m really sorry I hurt you. (I didn’t mean to hurt you.)
It’s not that big of a deal.

What a powerful night it turned into just because our students risked in our smaller group. When we got back, we talked about the fallout of broken trust, how we react when it’s broken. Then we walked through Genesis 3 – the scene of the biggest lie ever.

“You can’t trust God.”

You could really see some light bulbs coming on.

I’ll keep you posted as we go but what a great night.

9 thoughts on “What I Thought vs. What I Got

  1. What I always found interesting was looking at this passage from the view point of a parent to a child. (God, the Father, to Adam, his creation/child) “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” Seems like the first lie told was “for his own good.”

    How many of us have been in parenting situations where some explanation is needed but too much info is overkill, unnecessary, or we just don’t have the answer? For example, a two-year old asking “where do babies come from?” Hardly the time for a lengthy discussion about human reproduction, but a wise parent knows that at some point in their child’s life that that simplistic answer to a small child needs to be updated with not only factual information but the expectation and responsibilities of their maturing adolescent. The injustice we do to our children is to underestimate their need for the truth and their natural curiousity, which may be expressed less verbally to a parent as they mature, but certainly is not extinguished.

    So many of our life stages are liminal in nature. And it takes time to cross those thresholds. In order to successfully do so it takes time and with time comes knowledge, experience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Hopefully.

  2. Seymour – interesting observation. I don’t think it was overkill – just a statement of consequences. By choosing knowledge over life, it did kill them – eventually.

    Just like someone who gets AIDS or cancer – death is inevitable. Just because it’s not instant doesn’t make it any less real.

    I do think God was talking “end game” with them – trying to simplify it to its lowest denominator, not going through the whole process.

    Good thoughts.

  3. Grant,

    When my children were very small negotiation was never an option. “We are doing this” or “you are to do such and such.” Why? “Because I said so” or “that is how we do things in this family” seemed to suffice. As they became adolescents I realized that not only were we negotiating but they had raised it to an art form. Absolutes from Mom and Dad were no longer satisfactory nor absolute, which for dealing with life in the real world was a good thing. Perhaps just hard for me to initially accept: the reality that my babies were no longer that and one step closer to leaving and being on their own.

    I like thinking of God in the early chapters of Genesis as a neophyte at parenting (Just as I like thinking of Jesus as a typical adolescent: straying from the group and eventually being found in the temple. I think the early church fathers did us a great disservice by not including more stories of Jesus as a child and youth. But I digress…) God certainly didn’t go the route of overkill, he chose an absolute: Don’t. Don’t do it. Period. Even the threat of death was not a strong enough deterrent. And look where that got Him. But maybe that is the way it had to be. Otherwise, if Adam and Eve had never transgressed in the Garden where would we be now? Utopia? I think not. Perhaps it was inevitable that something had to happen in order to change the status quo.

    As I watched my children develop I kept reminding myself that becoming a man or a woman was a gift of God. There was nothing I could do to stop or deter the process. What then could I do to make them the best person they could be?

    Growing pains are never easy. Hopefully we will never reach a stage in our lives where the growing ceases.

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