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We see ourselves in the pestering of a 5-year-old who feels she doesn't have enough.
I was sitting in our car with our 5-year-old granddaughter, Katie, while my wife was making a quick run into the shopping mall. Our next stop was going to be at a toy store to purchase a toy for her brother.
She decided that she wanted wanted a toy as well. Immediately, she began to use a variety of strategies to obtain her goal. When she found out it wasn't going to work, she shifted from one tactic to another.
She made a straight-out request: "Grandpa, I want you to give me a toy!"
She used flattery: "Grandpa, I love you very much (flirting, inviting voice, batting her eyes). I would like for you to give me a toy."
She attempted to make me feel guilty: "Grandpa, if you don't give me a toy, I will get sick to my stomach. I will throw up. It will be all your fault."
She threatened: "Grandpa, if you don't give me a toy, I will get mad. I won't like you any more."
She pleaded: "Grandpa, please, please, please give me a toy."
After listening silently to this very human plea, I gave my final answer:
"Katie, it's not going to happen."
How much time and effort do we invest in figuring out ways to get more stuff for ourselves? I wonder if we hear God's silence as an answer to our prayers.
God gives what we need, but not all we want.
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Adam Copeland serves as director of the Center for Stewardship Leaders.
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