Brandon is in the first grade. He is a huge New York Yankees fan and if you mention the New York Yankees to him he says, “I love Derek Jeter.” (the Yankees shortstop). One afternoon Joyce was reviewing the first 7 commandments and Brandon was sitting next to me.
Joyce asked that anyone who had ever placed someone or something as more important than God to raise their hand. (Thou shalt nave no other gods before Me) Brandon turned around to look at the crowd behind us and with a shocked look on his face said to me, “Mr. Scott raised his hand!” I explained, “That means that at sometime Mr. Scott had placed something else in his life as more important than God.” I reminded Brandon about examples we covered back in that lesson like idolizing sports figures, and that we should never consider people, like Derek Jeter, as more important than God.
A couple of commandments later, Joyce asked anyone who has eve not honored their father and mother to raise their hand. I raised my hand and Brandon said to me, “I always honor my mother!” I said, “Have you ever talked back to her?” He didn’t answer.
He seemed to think about that and dropped the subject. On the command of not committing adultery, the curriculum ties marriage faithfulness with always keeping our promises. Joyce asked, “Have any of you ever broken a promise?” Brandon seemed to think he’d nailed this one, and he proudly said to me, “I always keep my promises!” I asked him if he’d ever told his teacher that he would do his homework and then didn’t get it done. Realizing that he was 0 for 3, he looked down cast and said, “I’m going to hell.”
How often do we have such a great opportunity? (Someone coming up and saying, “I’m a sinner bound for hell. Is there hope?”) We have great news for Brandon, (and YOU!)
Someone asked me once if there was a down side to teaching the 10 Commandments because we don’t want to hint at a works salvation. I think teaching the 10 Commandments has been influential not only in teaching moral values that the kids may not fully understand (like lying and stealing are wrong) but also because it’s shown them God’s standard and how we fall short. Seeing their own sin is the first step for anyone toward seeing their need for a Savior. That’s what Brandon was realizing!
What about YOU? Have you realized your need for a Savior?