Teach Kids to Weed Out Sneaky Lies
By Becky Dwinell
What is your least favorite part about gardening? If you said weeding, I wouldn’t blame you. Even though it’s hard work, you know it’s worth the effort. Lies are like weeds, springing up to choke out the truth in kids’ hearts. Sometimes lies are sneaky, just like weeds which often look very much like the real plant they’re growing next to. You may not know they’re there until they have deep roots.
Here are five sneaky lies kids may believe and how to help weed them out.
The first is the lie of instant gratification: “If I want something, I must have it now!” Many kids today have instant access to their favorite food and drinks, and access to people and entertainment through technology. Without realizing it, they’re being shaped to believe what they want should come quickly. What are the fruits of this lie? Kids become impatient, anxious, and easily angered because expectations are not met. We need to help kids value patience. God has things to teach us while we wait and we’ll miss out on those if we’re being annoyed instead of looking for what He wants for us. A friend of mine said “It’s always good news when God says wait. It means He’s working things out even better.”
The second sneaky lie is called “instant friendship”: “I need my friend’s attention right now!” It’s so easy to text or call a friend whenever feeling bored, lonely, or needing advice. What are the fruits of instant-friend syndrome? Kids constantly check their phones, share more than they should on social media, become anxious, and frustrated. They may come to think of their friends as commodities to be used rather than people to love. Because friends are so available, they will think of friends before thinking of God. He wants to be the #1 friend. He is the “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” You can encourage kids to become closer friends with God by talking to him first, listening to Him when reading His Word, and going on prayer walks.
A third sneaky lie comes from entitlement: “I deserve special treatment and constant happiness.” Perhaps the kids in your life enjoy many benefits, so they expect all things should go as they want. What are the fruits from this weed? Kids quickly complain, consider “wants” as “needs,” don’t show gratitude, and fall apart if things don’t go well. Help kids recognize God’s goodness to them and point them away from self-centeredness by helping them to care more about others, and accept the difficulties of life.
The fourth sneaky lie concerns time: “Time is mine.” Kids may think that time belongs to them because much in their schedule revolves around them. What are some of the fruits of this lie? Kids become lazy and neglect personal responsibilities or opportunities to help. But you can point them to ways they can spend their time that have eternal impact. You can share stories of people from the Bible or the mission field who used their time to honor God.
Finally, kids may be hearing the sneaky lie of self-care: “Me first!” Maybe the kids in your life know that social interaction, hygiene, and a healthy diet have great personal value. But they can turn into an ugly weed if the purpose behind it is self-centered. What are the fruits of a “me first” attitude? Kids become obsessed with taking care of themselves, neglect to care for others, and are difficult to be with. What does God say about self-care in Matthew 22? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Encourage kids to memorize that verse to help them weed out this attitude. When loving God and others has first place in a kid’s life, then they use self-care to increase their effectiveness as Christians.
You can help kids weed out these sneaky lies before they choke out God’s truth in their lives.
This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids. Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform. #TeachKids #KidsMin
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