Well, it finally happened. My youngest daughter, at the ripe old age of 15 months, finally learned the dreaded word “MINE”! And since learning it, she has used it . . . and used it often. Some words she says are hard to distinguish. They are the type of words that parents know and understand, but others not as acquainted with her speech patterns may not pick up as readily.
However, when it comes to the word “MINE” there is no mistaking what she is saying. Not only does she pronounce it clearly; she pronounces it with gusto and conviction. It has a sinister and diabolical sound to it.
Of course, when she gets in those selfish moods, any and everything under the sun becomes “MINE”. Whether it is a toy or a pen or a laptop or dish washing detergent, all of it becomes her sole property.
Children are many a splendid thing, but selfishness is also rife in their personalities. Of course, I doubt we adults can speak too harshly against them for this; it seems it is common in the elder ones of our species as well.
I suppose this is where the ill-advised mantra of, Do as I say, not as I do, comes into play!
She is especially prone to calling out “MINE” when it comes to anything with which her three year old sister is playing. In order to be fair, her three year old sister also exhibits the same tendencies when it comes to anything the fifteen month old is playing with as well. In the older sister’s case, however, she doesn’t shriek out “MINE”, she simply grabs whatever it is out of her younger sister’s hands and makes a mad dash for it!
I believe all this is summarized in one word: covetousness. This may be a word they are yet unable to pronounce, but they are certainly familiar with its meaning and intent!
I suppose, in the end, it is a testimony to the fallen-ness of humankind. These little fallen, rebellious creatures running around the living room, with their little grubby hands, shouting out “MINE” “MINE” “MINE” at the top of their lungs is a poetic picture of the heart within us all.
As we grow older we learn to mask it, to cover it up, to disguise it. Yet, for all our make-overs and cosmetics, the germ is still there. Even those who profess the name of Christ, find this war battling within.
We all must learn to unclench our fists and let go. We must stop grabbing and hoarding and start giving. The call of a disciple of Christ is to turn those formerly clutched fists upward in praise and humility before the Sovereign God.
For a believer, “MINE” should be an archaic word, associated with our natural man/woman. In the spirit of Christ we are to give as God has blessed and as he blesses us more, give more and more.
Let us not be like the Rich Fool who built bigger barns; instead, let us seek the will of God and ask, How may I use that which God has blessed me to advance his kingdom and his gospel?
The heart of a disciple of Christ does not cry out “MINE”; but rather, in prayer to God, “YOURS”.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3.14-16)