This evening as we were busy preparing an early supper for our two little ones and a later one for the rest of us, one year old Micah was hungry and fussy. As several of us chopped vegetables and cubed cheese, Micah burrowed between our legs and into the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink.
Tugging on my pants he reached his pudgy arms up to hand me something saying, “Deet-doo,” his version of “thank you.” He gave me the spray bottle of Windex, then waited for me to parrot his words.
“Thank you, Micah,” I said, putting the Windex on the counter.
Then he proceeded to hand me the bleach spray, the dishwashing liquid, furniture polish, flea spray, plant fertilizer and floor wax, each one with a “deet-doo.” None of it was appropriate for toddler play, but we were busy, and his cabinet clean-out was keeping him out of our hair.
Of course we were monitoring his potentially harmful playtime, but it made me wonder how many toxins we, as adults, “play” with while not being monitored. Toying with drugs (I’ll just try it once) or alcohol (Everyone drinks) or shoplifting (They charge too much anyway) or smoking (It looks cool) or any number of other toxic habits can ruin us before we even know what happened.
Another subtle poison that can ruin us is playing around with truth, stretching it here, subtracting from it there. Thankfully, God is monitoring that, since he has the corner on truth, and Jesus personifies it. He has a vested interest in what we do with it and him. We’re to “buy it” exactly as Scripture presents it.
If we aren’t sure how to handle it, God will counsel us. A good prayer from Psalm 25 is, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior.” When we dabble in his truth by choosing only the parts that appeal while setting the rest aside, this habit gradually becomes toxic and leads us to a deadly end.
If little Micah could have opened the cleaning products that looked so attractive to him, he would have spilled them on himself, tasted them, rubbed them in his eyes. While he was stinging with pain, he would have wondered how something so pretty could have hurt so much.
We ought to wonder the same thing before opening the cabinet door on hazardous behavior. “If I start this, will I be able to stop?” Sometimes God stops us, but he’s been known to let us have our way, too, which usually includes suffering the natural consequences of playing with poison. Under-the-sink liquids might require a bit of Ipecac, but altering truth will lead to harsher penalties.
Maybe the best approach is the one Micah used. Hand it off to someone responsible and say, “Deet-doo… but no deets.”
“Buy the truth and do not sell it — wisdom, instruction and insight as well.” (Proverbs 23:23)