Chloe's learned a four-letter word. I don't know where or from whom she learned it, but oh, how I wish I could find out.
I would not hesitate to give them a piece of my mind. How dare they teach such a thing to Chloe? How could they possibly encourage such a vile word to come out of such a sweet little mouth?
What is that word, you ask? "Mine."
If I have something which Chloe thinks belongs to her, she screams "Mine!" and snatches it from me.
If she's holding something and I try to take it from her she cries, "Mine!" and turns away from me, putting her body between me and the object.
Chloe makes her newfound declaration with authority. She makes it with conviction. And she makes it with great regularity. So regularly, in fact, sometimes I think she sounds like a broken record.
I would almost rather her go through the "No" stage again instead of this. Wait, I take that back! I didn't really mean it!
The funny thing about Chloe saying "Mine" all the time is that none of what she's claiming as hers really is. I pay for whatever she has.
True, I give it to her as a gift, and from that standpoint she might be able to claim that it's hers, but she wouldn't have it at all if it were not for my generosity.
So really, the things she has are mine (hmm, that word doesn't sound nearly as bad when I'm saying it).
Now let's take this one step further. Are the things I have and give to Chloe really mine? After all, I work and make the money to pay for them. Surely they belong to me, right?
Wrong. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it."
It really belongs to God, he's giving it to me, then I'm taking some of it and passing it on to Chloe.
Does that change your perspective on the things you have? It's not your house, your car, your boat, your job or even your family.
It's all God's. It all belongs to your heavenly father, and he gives it to you to have for a little while.
Now, you could make the argument that it's yours because you work to make the money to pay for such things. But who gives you the strength to work? Who gives you the intelligence to perform your tasks? God does, that's who.
How should we view these things God gives us "on loan"? How should we use them?
I believe we ought to see them as a part of his everlasting generosity, and we ought to use them for his eternal glory
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.