The word shiny instantly causes my kids to begin singing that new Moana song, “Shiny.” It’s just the perfect mix of annoying and catchy and it ends up on a never-ending loop in my head.
I just started teaching full-time again, and my 9th grade Bible classes is one of my favorites to teach. I’m the queen of props and object lessons, and the other day I was deep the in throes of the epic struggle between Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3. I remembered as I was the teaching that I have a huge porcelain red apple on my desk and I scooped it up; it was the PERFECT illustration for the forbidden fruit. It sits there now as a pretty reminder that teachers like apple things and God means what He says.
I went to a teen conference this summer as a chaperone and was struck by how different it was from the conferences I attended as a teenager. We didn’t have smart phones at my teen conferences. We had to stand in line at a pay phone to call our moms….if we called our moms. (That part hasn’t changed, apparently. I had to constantly remind the teens to call their mothers!) But the phone situation wasn’t the only difference. When I was a teen, they assumed we were good kids. They preached to us like we were good kids, right on the verge of choosing whether or not to continue on the good path. In most cases, and by all outward appearances, that might have been true. But the conference I attended this past summer approached things differently. They assumed, and rightly so, that in some form or fashion, everyone has chosen the wrong path. And they preached Jesus. They preached that He wants to heal the hurts in their hearts, not just fix their bad behavior and make them look like good Christian kids. They worshiped Jesus. They lifted HIM up.
Because the world is shiny. It looks especially shiny to good kids who hear they’re not supposed to go near it.
But He outshines it all.
And He said, if He is lifted up, He’ll draw all men to Himself.
It’s true that we need to warn our kids and teach them how to resist temptation. We need to hide His Word in their hearts so that they can defeat the enemy. But there’s more to it. When we glorify God and live a life that exalts Jesus, we can teach our children that He offers far more than all the shiny things the world has to offer. We can demonstrate that He is truly the best thing in our lives and that nothing else ever satisfies.
He really is the shiniest of all the shiny things. And nothing and no one could ever compare. And I believe, if our kids get a glimpse of Him–of what a true relationship with Him really looks like–the world and all it offers will suddenly seem like the cheap glitter it really is.
You can find more encouragement and hope for motherhood in my brand new book, Not Quite SuperMoms of the Bible. Click here to read it today!