Trash Talking is Biblical

7:17 AMHeather

We were a sad lot around here last night. Just as the dinner hour approached, nearly everyone was unraveling. Far from a Norman Rockwell picture, our family dinner was a bit of a train wreck. One child was sent to their room until an attitude change occurred. Another child was whiney. Mom was tired and ready for bed. Dinner did not appeal to two short people who let that be known. Sigh. I gritted my teeth, convinced this was one of those nights that we would survive until bed time, which couldn't come soon enough.

We finally all got to the table and Dad patiently prayed. Chewing our food at least cut down on the grumpies. Somehow we got to the topic of the Lady Bears playing the Aggies (yes, I know, I know--we lost and so good luck to the Aggie girls!). I was explaining how tall Britney Griner was compared to their Uncle Craig, and threw in a little jab at my oldest child expressing how I could still take him down at HORSE, despite my sore neck. This brought a bit of a smile and everyone laughed about the trash talk. Then, Chris made one of his favorite off-beat Biblical truth comments, "Ya know, trash talk is Biblical."

The kids looked surprised, and just as they realized that a story was approaching, they quickly acted as if they knew where we were going. Calling their bluff, Chris and I began to tell the story of Elijah and the priests of Baal. I grabbed my lap top and searched on to find the passage. Reading 1 Kings 18: 21-40, I explained how the people of Israel--GOD'S chosen people--had begun to worship Baal. Elijah, as a prophet of God, called them out about this, and challenged the Baal priests to a show down. Chris and I were as animated as possible, emphasizing how it was 1 prophet versus 450 priests. Not good odds, to be sure. Like a challenge on Survivor, they went head-to-head building their altars and sacrificing a bull, waiting to see whose god would reign down fire on the sacrifice. Elijah even let the Baal priests choose a bull first. Then, from MORNING till noon--as in from the time you go to school until lunch time--these priests tried to summon their god. They yelled and danced and screamed and even cut themselves trying to get their gods attention. And, then the trash talking. Elijah, fully confident in God's power, began to tease them about maybe their god was asleep, or busy, or traveling or even deep in thought. There you have Biblical trash talk. The whole scene went down till evening. Then, Elijah poured water over his wood THREE times, and prayed a short prayer. So, 450 to one. An all day plea versus one short prayer. Dry wood versus wet wood. The false god of Baal versus the One True God. Yep, no match at all.

By the time we were done tag teaming in this retelling, the children's eyes were big. Bad attitudes had disappeared. Being intentional and seizing an opportunity, my husband was able to usher in God's Word to our rough spot, letting the Lord show up and turn the tide. And, then, the ultimate compliment. Our ten-year-old said, "Mom and Dad, like this probably would NEVER happen, but if the church ever fires you from teaching Newlyweds, you should TOTALLY teach in Children's Church because that was cool!"

INTENTIONAL challenge: Total credit goes to my man for being sensitive to find an opportunity to turn us back to the Word of God when we ALL needed it! How often do I just let my attitude and fatigue take over, not putting forth the effort to find a way to redirect each of us? How often do I neglect to seize an opportunity for God to show up and change us? What about you? Might we ask God to give us a sensitivity to bring the Word to life and be changed by it!

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