Not the Mama


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Bible Reading: Exodus 20:1-7

I am the Lord your God.   Exodus 20:2

A TELEVISION SHOW called Dinosaurs ran some years ago, featuring the antics of a family of dinosaurs: Mom, Dad, daughter, son, and baby. Occasionally, someone on the show would try to coax the baby into doing something. The baby, however, would usually respond by hitting that dinosaur over the head with a frying pan and chanting, “Not the mama!”

At about the same time that television show was on the air, there was another child—this one a young human girl. The girl had an aunt who tried to offer her some gentle correction such as, “Please don’t put the nice little doggie into the oven.” Like the dinosaur baby, however, the girl frowned at her relative and sternly announced, “You’re not my muffer!”

Maybe you’ve heard similar responses from other people. Maybe you’ve tried to point out a better way of doing something or made a simple suggestion like “Don’t you think it would be wrong to lock the substitute teacher in the walk-in freezer over the weekend?” and heard the response: “You’re not the boss of me!”

The dinosaur baby and the human girl both responded as they did because they questioned another person’s authority to tell them what to do; the only “bosses” they recognized were their mothers. And a person who says, “You’re not the boss of me!” is doing something similar.

Such phrases are pretty common because most of us don’t like it when someone else tells us what to do, especially if that person isn’t our “muffer”! We want to make our own decisions.

We even try that when it comes to deciding whether something is right or wrong. We forget (or ignore) what God says and make up our own rules. “It’s OK to do this because everyone else does it,” we say. Or “it wouldn’t be wrong just this once.”

But no matter how hard we may try to be our own boss, it won’t work. God has said what’s right or wrong, and he is the Lord. None of us could do his job. And his job is to be the “boss” of heaven and earth and to help us understand, not decide, what’s right and wrong. Our job is to listen and, with his help, obey what he says. And when we do that, we’ll discover that God is the best “boss” anyone could ever have!

REFLECT: How many “bosses” do you have? Do you ever try to be your own boss? Do you ever forget (or ignore) what God says and make up your own rules? Have you ever found yourself saying any of the things above (“Everyone else does it,” etc.)? If so, which do you say most often? If you find yourself saying anything like that in the days to come, remind yourself that it’s God’s job to be the “boss” of heaven and earth and to help you understand what’s right and what’s wrong.

PRAY: “Dear God, I admit that sometimes I forget or ignore what you’ve said about right and wrong. Sometimes I try to make up my own rules. Help me to do better at remembering and obeying what you say is right.”


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