In our class we have a rule at lunch-time: eat your healthy food first. But sometimes that sugar is just so much more appetizing than the PB & J. Today, like everyday, one of the preschoolers asked me if they could have their desert before the sandwich. And like always I said, “After you eat your sandwich, you may have your desert.” Not but two minutes later she came up to me and said, “Now can I have my desert? I finished my sandwich.” It was all a little too quick for me so I asked, “Did you really eat ALL of your sandwich?” She nodded. “So if I look in the trash cans, they won’t be there?” Normally, I never have to get to the trash can before they confess, but she didn’t confess. However, her body was telling me that she wasn’t telling truth so I followed through with checking the trashcans. She wasn’t lying about her food being in the trashcan nor was it crumpled up in her lunchbox. But still something wasn’t right. So I got down on my knees and I told her:
“Are you sure you are telling me truth? Even if you are not, I will still love you. It’s important that you tell me truth. I can handle it. Where is the sandwich, sweetie?”
That’s when she finally shrugged her shoulders.
Then she confessed, “Nikki ate it for me.”
I proceeded to say, “You told me you ate it, but you didn’t. What is that called?”
“Lying” she said.
“Is it okay to lie?”
“What does God call that?”
“That’s right and sinners sin. We are ALL sinners. You lied to me and that’s a sin. I lie too sometimes. And I am a sinner. You know what, sinners can’t go to heaven and be with God. Isn’t that sad? How can we get to heaven if we sin so much? .... Well, when we confess our sins, Jesus forgives us our sins. Loving Jesus and asking for his help is the only way to Heaven. When we love Jesus and trust him to forgive us our sins, God sees Jesus’ clean pure heart instead of our dark sinful hearts. Would you like to ask Jesus for forgiveness?
She wanted to so she prayed. “Dear God, Sorry I did that. Amen.”
What a sweet moment God gave me to talk about sin! I don’t think her prayer was a prayer of salvation, but I do think that she saw very intimately that we are sinners. It’s such a key thing in understanding the gospel!
Like always, whenever I have a conversation like that I tend to go over it in my head and think of how I would have done it differently.
I think I would have made an overarching statement about sin: Sin is loving anything else more than God. (You shall have no other gods BEFORE me. Ex. 20:3) Putting it this way, they will be able to see that they are sinners from sharing to eating their healthy food first. For example, if they are fighting over a toy (instead of addressing who had it first) we could talk about how neither of them were loving God the most as they fought for the toy. Both of them were thinking about themselves. When it comes to lying in order to eat that yummy desert, I could have talked about how she was loving food more than God. She loved that food more than God so much that she was willing to lie and trick in order to get it. That is not loving God the most- that is sinning.
Isn’t lying such a good indicator of what we are loving more than God? When I am tempted to lie about buying clothes, things are more important than God. When I am tempted to make a story better than it really was, people’s opinions are more important than God. When I see the kids lying about their healthy food, I see myself too.