What’s your favorite thing to have for dessert? Every year on my birthday I go to the Cheesecake Factory Restaurant and I order my very most favorite dessert: a piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake, with a side of fresh raspberry sauce to pour over it. I always look forward to my favorite part - the very first bite, sliced right off the pointy end of the triangle. And every year when I bring that delicious slice of chocolatey-heaven home with me and pop open the lid of the container, the very same thing happens:
My son Caleb says, “Oooooh Mommy - I require a tax - you must give me one sample bite!”
My son Toby says, “What! Chocolate cheesecake!! Might I have just one little morsel? A sweet taste for a sweet son?”
My son Wyatt says, “Hey I’m starving! And you’re eating that in front of me - so you better let me have one enormous chunk of that!”
And my daughter Brooke says, “Mommy, wouldn’t it make you so especially happy to share your birthday cheesecake with your very favorite daughter?”
They’re clever, crafty, and cute, these kids of mine. So every year, I give in - one bite to one, one bite to another, a bite stolen from a sneaky one while I’m not looking....sometimes I share happily at first, but then I start to feel more and more crabby and selfish as the sharing goes on.
Do you know what happens by the very end of it? That’s right - you guessed it. The large slice of cake that was supposed to be all mine is now just a smashed pile of a few leftover scoops. That beautiful triangle of birthday perfection is now just a torn apart mess.
The Bible says that sometimes the church can be like my slice of birthday cheesecake - that the more we argue and fight with each other, the more broken apart and sloppy and messy we will look. That’s why Paul wrote the church people in Corinth, “Try to agree with each other in what you say, so that there will be no more divisions among you!” The more pieces you cut a cake into, the smaller and smaller and smaller it gets. The more opinions and fights you cut a church up into, the smaller and smaller it will get, too. People might leave because they don’t want to be part of all the fighting and arguing and name calling.
There’s a lot of places in life when we WON’T want to agree with each other, but that’s when we have to work hard to stay together and stay united. We have to share ideas and we have to let other people make choices we don’t like. This might sound hard - as hard as sharing a perfect piece of cake that you should have all to yourself - but in the end, it shows the world that there’s something special about us. There’s something amazing about a group of people who don’t always agree, but stay united anyway. What’s the secret to staying united? The secret is that everybody puts Jesus, and puts each other, above their own desires.
What’s the secret of sharing your very own birthday cake and not feeling crabby about it? Well, I’m still not quite sure about that....Family Talk Time:
- What’s something you’ve had to share that you felt crabby about - a treat, a room, a toy, the credit, some special time, or something else?
- Why isn’t the church a perfect place where everybody gets along? Why isn’t our family a perfect place where everybody gets along? How is the church like a family?
- Read 1 Corinthians 1:10. How is it possible to be “perfectly united” with someone you don’t like or don’t agree with? Is this crazy, impossible, fake, or actually do-able? How?
- How could we make our family a more united and agreeable team this week? How can each person do their part - what is your part?