Which Do You Love More?


Summer is full of all kinds of yummy flavors and fun activities. The weeks fly by and before we know it another school year will begin, gardens will stop producing and our long-awaited vacation will be but a sweet memory. To stretch out those fun summer moments, I’ve put together a little mini-quiz that might be fun to share with your family or friends the next time you gather for a picnic, barbeque or road trip. It goes like this…

Which Do You Love More?
  • Corn on the cob or corn dogs
  • Watermelon or water balloon fights
  • Fishing poles or swimming holes
  • A fresh peach or salt water taffy
  • Campfires or BBQ’s
  • Lightning bugs or summers showers
  • Ice cream bars or popsicles
  • Ball games or bike rides

It’s a simple game, but it’s often the simple things that can spark fun conversations. A twist on this game could be to guess what the other person’s answers will be and then see who gets the most right. The ideas that could be added to the list are endless. With a little creativity, you and your family could learn a lot about grandma and grandpa or your next door neighbor. It could even be a fun game to do at a church picnic or as an ice breaker in a children’s Sunday School class.

For teens or adults, the game could take a more serious turn and be adapted into an actual lesson plan. In this situation, the question of “Which Do You Love More?” can still start with the fun summer activities and foods or it could be adapted for a Christmas lesson. Peppermint or Pumpkin Pie, Christmas stockings or ornaments. You get the drift. After you introduce the idea and enjoy the game together, the lesson could easily transition into a very thought-provoking discussion based on John 12:42-43 which says, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him [Jesus, as the Messiah]. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”

Did you catch that? 

The key question is this – Do you love praise from men more than praise from God?

At first glance, this verse caught my attention. Yes, I know we need to focus on what God thinks - not man, but what I hadn’t noticed was the key word. More. It is okay to enjoy a compliment, to encourage each other and share praise with those who have accomplished a goal. But, we must use great caution and wisdom in teaching our children (and practicing ourselves) the principle of humility and honor before God. Which do we love MORE?

Praise from others
or
Praise from God

Proverbs 29:25 in the Living Bible challenges us to consider what we love more - “Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety.”

My guess is that we have all fallen into this dangerous trap one too many times. Perhaps it is time to prayerfully acknowledge what God praises us for – sharing the name of Christ with others - so that we can avoid the trap of seeking our self-worth and status by the fickle standards of man. God is the only one that we can truly trust to have our best interests at heart, and He is the One that is worthy of all of our praise!

Dear Heavenly Father,
We confess our desire to hear the praises of men speak into our lives. It is so easy to want to embrace the temporal rather than seeking the eternal. You, oh Lord, are worthy of all of our praise. You are the One in whom we can trust wholeheartedly. You have given us life through your Son, and in Him we have all that we will ever need. Give us a spirit of contentment and strength in the knowledge of your abundant love for us. May we boldly speak the name of Jesus, and grant to each of us the desire to love you more and more. Amen!




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