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Christian Living

The Power of Suggestion

Last week one of my kindergarten music classes played rhythm sticks. I came down the rows afterwards giving each child a squirt of hand sanitizer. One little guy asked, “Is that hypnotizer?” I immediately realized what happened: he substituted a word he’d heard for a term he hadn’t yet mastered.

With a chuckle, I told him it was only hand sanitizer. But I kept thinking about what he said. What if there really was such a thing as hypnotizer in a bottle? I’d give each kid a squirt, and as they rubbed their hands together they’d become open to the power of suggestion.

Me (in a soothing voice): “You will keep your hands and feet to yourselves. You will listen while I am talking. You can wait to got to the bathroom.”

Oh how grand it would be!

Sometimes, when I get my spiritual hands dirty, I wish there was a bottle of heavenly hypnotizer. God gives me a squirt or two. I rub my hands together. And I’m suddenly open to the power of holy suggestion.

God (in a soothing voice): “You will be more patient with the children. You will listen (really listen) to me. You should spend time in coffee shops–like Matt, from jesusluvsall.”

Free will is overrated. “Lord, just tell my subconscious mind what to do and let’s get this over with!” But that’s not how things work in the Kingdom of God. In reality, we’re free to choose our thoughts and behaviors. There are always options: good ones, bad ones and somewhere in between.

There’s no such thing as heavenly hypnotizer. And this is a GOOD thing. Robot Christians would be as inauthentic as puppet children. We are designed to love, listen too and obey God (and fallible humans) by choice.

My favorite “Free to Choose” scripture:

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

Today, and every day, may we choose to serve the Lord.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.