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Don't Pick That Up!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then! And do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery! Galatians 5:1

“Honey, don’t pick that up!” We say it all the time as moms, especially to our littles. Kids seem to have no concept of nasty. One of mine in particular had a fascination with any random object he discovered on the ground. Discarded wrappers, half eaten candy, chewed gum, live bugs, dead bugs, leaves, dirt clumps—he grabbed it all. And almost every time, if I wasn’t quick enough, he tasted it! Some days it seemed like everywhere we walked I was chanting “Honey, don’t pick that up. Gross!”

Instinct prompts us to instruct our children in this way regarding physical junk, but do we have this same instinct when it comes to spiritual junk? Unfortunately, the enemy has a plan that is genius. He lays things out for our kids in ways that are so enticing, and, if we’re not quick enough, they pick it up before we even notice! It’s everywhere. TV, radio, billboards, school, friends, culture—everywhere they go they are surrounded by junk. Some of the junk is easy to recognize. Things like dirty language and obviously immoral behavior don’t get past Mama Bears very easily. But some junk is sneaky. Like shiny objects in the crack of a sidewalk, it catches our kids’ attention and we may not even see it coming. Our eyes are elsewhere. We have to constantly be vigilant and ready to say “Honey, don’t pick that up!”

The funny thing about kids is that they don’t think the stuff they’re picking up is nasty. I vividly remember watching in horror from a park bench while my son put something he had pulled from the sandbox in his mouth. I was only a few feet from him, but I wasn’t quick enough. He had discovered an ant hill and conducted a taste test. Gross! But he didn’t think so. His curiosity and immaturity blinded him. He didn’t realize it was gross. In fact, when I removed him from the sandbox, he cried! How many times do we ourselves pick up junk from the enemy and not even recognize what it is? Doubt, fear, insecurity, manipulation, anger, gossip, bitterness, greed—just like junk on a sidewalk, we walk through our days and we pick it up, completely unaware. Those who love us can see it, but we don’t have a clue. We’re nibbling on junk the enemy left laying out for us, while our Father lovingly says “Honey, don’t pick that up! It’s not for you!”

Mamas, let us lay down our own junk! Let us walk with our eyes forward, watching for the blessings our Father has laid out for us and for our children. Only when our own eyes are fixed on Jesus will we have the perspective we need to guard our kids’ steps. May His Spirit give us wisdom to know when it’s time to say, “Honey, don’t pick that up!” Amber Fisher

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