Sunday, June 8, 2008

How Much Is Too Much?

This week I read a very heart wrenching email that convicted me all the way to my toenails! After reading this, I began searching my heart for answers that only God can supply. I thought that I would share this wonderful story with you as well:


Some years ago when I was a preacher, I walked into my church office
after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk
containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous
saint who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with
a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately
sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following

Two teenagers asked their father if they could go the theater to watch
a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews
about the movie on the internet, he denied their request.
"Aw dad, why not?" they complained. "It's rated PG-13, and we're both
older than thirteen!" Dad replied: "Because that movie contains nudity and portrays
immorality, which is something that God hates, as being normal and
acceptable behavior." "But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That's what our
friends who've seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and
those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It's based on a
true story, and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming
themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the Christian movie review
websites say that!"

"My answer is 'no,' and that is my final answer. You are welcome to
stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of
the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and
watch that film. End of discussion."

The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped
down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the
sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen. They soon
recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one
of the teenagers said to the other, "Dad must be feeling guilty, and
now he's going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies.
Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to
us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all."

About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag
and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating
and the brownies in the story. I kept reading...;

The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a
plate of warm brownies which he offered to his kids. They each took
one. Then their father said,

"Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you both so much."

The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was

"That is why I've made these brownies with the very best ingredients.
I've made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic.
The best organic flour. The best free- range eggs. The best organic
sugar. Premium vanilla and chocolate."

The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a
little impatient with their dad's long speech.

"But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I
added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from
our own back yard. But you needn't worry, because I only added the
tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the
portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let
me know what you think."

"Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before
we eat?"

"Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won't
even taste it."
"Come on, dad, just tell us what that ingredient is."

"Don't worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients."


"Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is organic... dog poop"

I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out
into the waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of
the paragraphs that still remained.

Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began
inspecting their fingers with horror.

"DAD! Why did you do that? You've tortured us by making us smell those
brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you
added dog poop! We can't eat these brownies!"

"Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of
the ingredients. It won't hurt you. It's been cooked right along with
the other ingredients. You won't even taste it. It has the same
consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!"

"No, Dad... NEVER!"

"And that is the same reason I won't allow you to go watch that movie.
You won't tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should
you tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will
not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain
ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds
that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?

I discarded what remained of the second brownie as well as the entire
untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute ago had
become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I
was eating was slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn't... but I couldn't
convince myself.)
As you can see, this story makes you really think about that "tiny" amount that we let slide when we watch movies, whether it be cursing, taking God's name in vain, sex scenes, drug scenes, these are all contrary to God's word.
I am thankful that for the most part we don't subject ourselves or our children to this, but like these two teenagers there have been times that we have overlooked those things, because in the movie, they are tiny and don't really take up much of the movie, and basically the movie has a great story line. However, if you think back to when you watched that movie, which parts do we wind up remembering? Most of the time, it is the parts that God would not approve of.
Today, I issue everyone, myself included a challenge. The challenge is this; to be more godly, by choosing this day to serve the Lord in what we watch, in what we say, in what we listen to. I can promise you, it makes a difference in your relationships, and it will also make a difference to the Lord.
Until next time,
Love in Christ,
Jennifer :)

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