At mealtime, offer a plate of rotten food along with wholesome food.
Discussion point: It’s important to avoid sinful influences that "contaminate" our minds.
This activity makes a simple addition to mealtime or snack time. In addition to your regular food, you will need some mouldy food or something equally unappealing. (Meticulous housekeepers may need to plan ahead and grow some mould, while the rest of us can just reach to the back of our refrigerators to find a prop.) The goal is to offer your child a choice between eating rotten food and fresh food to illustrate how important it is to choose friends wisely.
Place a plate full of rotten food on the table along with your regular meal or snacks. Pass it around as you would any of the other food. Expect to hear comments like, “Yuck! What is that?” Or, “Do we have to have some of that that?” Or maybe, “Eww! I don't want that sitting beside me!” After everyone has had a chance to decline the rotten food, discuss why no one chose the bad food.
Questions for discussion
- Why didn’t anyone take any of the ________ (list the rotten food)?
- Normally, to avoid offending the hostess, you take a small serving of everything that is passed to you. Why didn’t you do that today?
- What does the word “contaminate” mean?
- How could the rotten food have polluted the good food?
- What are some ways that you can “pollute” or “contaminate” your mind?
- If being pure means you are choosing righteousness, what does “impure” mean?
- We all made sure we avoided the rotten food. How can we be as sure to avoid sin?
Nobody likes to have rotten food placed on the serving table, let alone on their plates. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary says the word “contaminate” means to “make impure by contact or mixture” or to “pollute.” No one wanted the rotten food anywhere near the food they were going to eat for fear that the mould or yucky stuff would “pollute” the food they were going to eat, making it “impure.”
Just as contact would have made the good food impure, there are ways we can “pollute” our minds. We can expose ourselves to potentially rotten influences by watching certain television programs, cartoons and movies, and even through reading certain books. We can also be influenced to do wrong by spending time with people who choose to sin. It’s important that we take just as much care in avoiding sinful influences as we did in avoiding the rotten food. The Bible tells us that seeking God with our whole heart and living our lives based on what it says in God’s Word is the way a young man (or woman) can stay pure.
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ ”
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does he prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands.”