“It’s Not About Giving Up Teddy Bears”

The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the Gospel is, it must have a message for both worlds.

The New Testament tells us that Jesus went about “preaching the gospel” and telling people to “believe the gospel.”

But what was that message? And what does it have to say to hurting children?

Not everyone has a carefree childhood. Some people have a harsh and brutal childhood. Inside every hurting adult is almost always a hurting child.

This is why I think that in order for the Gospel of Jesus to have something to say to that hurting adult, it must first have something to say to that hurting child hidden deep inside.

Addictions are things we hold on to in order to not feel the hurt so intensely.

Whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child (or addicted adult), “Get over it. Everybody has hurts. It doesn’t matter that it’s the only thing that has ever helped ease your pain. You can’t call yourself a Christian until you give that up. You can’t inherit the Kingdom of God until you stop it.”

A hurting child can’t see beyond what they know will help the hurt, even if only a little. They may be offered the most wonderful things possible that would ease and heal that hurt, a whole pile of gifts under the Christmas tree even, but they will not give up their ragged and tear-stained teddy bear because that is what eases the hurt. It’s what they know. It’s what they trust.

The hurting child grows up to be a hurting adult, and the teddy bear gets replaced by alcohol or drugs or tobacco or sex or gambling or food (too much, too little) or rage…and on and on…

Whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child, “Give that up! Jesus has so much more for you once you give that up! You have to give that up first!”

Eventually the hurt child may begin to think that God only cares about what other people see, and not about the hurt that is getting buried and hidden even deeper inside.

Jesus knows about healing us and about replacing the things that we hold on to that ease the pain. It takes trust, and trust takes relationship and time. Sadly, sometimes time runs out, but never the love and grace of Jesus.

10 thoughts on ““It’s Not About Giving Up Teddy Bears”

  1. I never did like that cartoon with Jesus asking the little girl to give up the little teddy bear that she loves only to replace it with a bigger teddy bear behind his back. Small teddy bears get a lot of mileage, easy to take just about everywhere, they’re perfect just because they’re not too big. The bigger the bear, the more hassle they are to take with you and deal with. I know it’s the old story of God taking things away and God giving things – but sometimes I think it’s enough to just have what you have – especially when you’re not ready to lose what you have for something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! And to me, the swap for the bigger teddy bear illustration sort of has overtones of the “prosperity gospel” that has made a great deal of money for a very few and taken a great deal of money from many others.

      The other thing that I don’t like about that illustration is that it doesn’t work particularly well for children who live in poverty who might truly treasure rags stitched together into a toy.

      As always, thank you for your comments. You always cause me to look at things in a different way, pointing out things that I may have overlooked. I really appreciate that about you. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post made me think of my grandson who died from drinking too much and having a bit of cocaine in his system. He fell asleep face down on a plush sofa and didn’t move so he smothered. He was 21.

    I believe that in spite of things he was doing, he will be saved and live in heaven. He believed in God and was praying, but his addictions were just too hard for him to overcome. Many Christians would say he was in a lost condition, but I know he wasn’t for God reads the heart. His heart was full of pain, but now he is at peace. My precious boy.

    Now his brother is on drugs, but is now getting help from a methadone clinic. He was okay until his brother died. He can’t seem to face that and live with it. He is shattered.

    You know, sometimes I’ve wished the boys would have been successful in life. They both loved hockey and maybe could have gone pro one day if things had been different. But when I talk with God about that, it comes to my mind that if they had been a huge success in this world, they may have ended up loving this world. Well, with what happened in their lives, there was no danger of them loving the world, that’s for sure. Actually, since my grandson died, no one in the family is in love with this world anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belle, I’m so sorry. I’m getting teary-eyed thinking about the grief your family is still going through.

      As I’ve been working on these posts this week, I’ve been thinking about a really good friend from my college days who overdid a lot of things in excess. I don’t think we ever knew all that the did, I know we didn’t know the reasons behind his excesses (which were probably addictions too).

      He took his own life because the pain he felt inside was just too much. He had told me once about how his older brother (in high school) had sexually abused him as a child (in elementary school). That was the hurt that he had buried deep inside. He and I would go to church together once in a while and to Bible studies. He trusted Jesus.

      This is why I believe that sometimes we don’t get everything “cleaned up” and exactly like Jesus in this life. Sometimes time just runs out.

      Those of us left behind just have to hold onto the promises in God’s Word like “Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus.” I really believe “nothing” means “nothing.”

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are always welcome, however they may not be reviewed and approved as quickly as what I would like due to techology limitations!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s