Do you want your life to be filled with garbage?Published 12:00am Saturday, May 12, 2012
By DALE SALLANS
They threw rocks at the stained glass windows of the church next door, never darkening the doors of it or any other church for worship.
They stole from people’s mailboxes and destroyed the contents. They used language that could make a sailor blush. They destroyed the neighbor’s property, breaking into buildings to do so. They were rude, crude and very mean spirited…and they were age 6, 4 and 3. They were known in the community as the “Children from Hell.” Were they?
Were they born evil, or did their parents allow them to act as if they were evil? Their mother used the TV as a babysitter, and their favorite video? Eddie Murphy Raw. I wish I was kidding or making this stuff up, but sadly, we were the next-door neighbors to this family. It was the church I served at whose windows they chucked rocks. It was my flowers they pulled up, my kids and other neighborhood kids’ toys they destroyed, not by playing with them, but by deliberately smashing them with a hammer. And their mother just couldn’t understand what the *^^%#)&@@ was wrong with the little *$^#*!!).
I tried to explain to her that her children were little computers, if she allowed garbage to go into them, garbage would come out. I was told to go some place very, very warm. Only God knows what happened to those kids. But what about our kids and grandkids?
Do we allow the secular world to set their moral compass? Do we know what they are watching on TV (especially when we aren’t paying attention), or on the Internet, even if they are searching for innocent terms? Do we know who their friends are and where they are? There is a filter we should use to guide us in shaping our kids and grandkids. Philippians 4:8 is a good template for us to use. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” NRSV.
The choice is yours really. Do you want the children in your life to be filled with the things of garbage, or the things of God?
Dale Sallans is the minister at First Presbyterian Church, Andalusia.