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Ray and I were recently in a conversation about “the state of the world we live in.” You know the kind of conversation I am talking about because you probably have them, too. We talked about sinful activities in the world that we rarely heard about 20 years ago. One man said, “I blame it on Burger King,” and then he discussed their “Have It Your Way” slogan. I was surprised when a quick Internet search informed me that the company has been using that slogan for forty years! Last October, the company replaced it with its new slogan, “You Rule,” but they continue to include the old slogan in a new jingle.

I don’t know that our friend was serious when he blamed the problem on Burger King, but the old slogan and the new one deserve some thoughtful consideration since both slogans do define a prevailing belief in our culture.

It’s okay to have a burger your own way, unless:

  • A child hurries to grab the last pickle in the jar when his brother has already asked for it.
  • Daddy grills all the burgers rare every time because that is the way he likes them even though he knows his wife and children prefer them well done.
  • Someone is making the whole meal miserable because mom forgot to buy more ketchup.

In a world that tells your children that they can do whatever they very well please, we must counter that teaching with this truth:

Have It God’s Way. He Rules

I enjoy our flower garden very much. I used to love buying plants in the spring, finding the perfect spot, planting them, and watching them grow. I liked moving rocks around for borders. I even enjoyed weeding. I had to give that up in 2015 after my face swelled up like a puffer fish after a weeding stint. The nurse practitioner at the walk-in clinic treated me with four IV medications and told me to go to the emergency room if it ever happened again. That put an end to my gardening.

Year after year, I have hired a sweet friend to weed for me. This year I decided to hire someone to do a major overhaul. On Tuesday I mentioned to her that I’d like to come to her garden center and pick out some new plants. Vickie said, “Really? We can do all of that for you.” My heart wanted to protest but I decided to say OK.

Yesterday morning, when I noticed that she and her helper were here, I went out to say, “I really would like to pick out some plants myself,” but then I noticed that they already had several beautiful plants in the ground and more sitting around. I kept quiet and looked on the progress with joy. I didn’t really have to “have it my way.” I had already chosen the hanging baskets, and her new choices look beautiful with the plants I have enjoyed year after year.

While Ray and I walk through these coming weeks of praying and waiting, it’s going to be nice to see this cheerful space outside our door.

It is crucial to train our children to obey what Jesus said were the first and second commandments: to love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. And we must show our children every day how to live God’s way. The apostle John showed the connection between these two commandments in his first letter:

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
is born of God,
and whoever loves the Father
loves the child born of Him. 
By this we know that we love the children of God,
when we love God and observe His commandments. 
For this is the love of God,
that we keep His commandments;
and His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:1-3

King David taught us Who really rules in this prayer in 1 Chronicles:

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the victory and the majesty,
indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;
Yours is the dominion, O Lord,
and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 
Both riches and honor come from You,
and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might;
and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12

The apostle Paul taught us how to live out loving our neighbors as ourselves in his letter to the Philippians.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility of mind regard one another
as more important than yourselves; 
do not merely look out for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

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