Pros and Cons


Idolatry-Discerning: Sorting out the Messages We Hear.


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Isaiah 33:15

A person must do what is right. He must be honest and tell the truth. He must not get rich by cheating others.


Do you believe the claims you hear on television? So much of advertising is really a just a series of questionable claims that are meant to entice you to buy a car, or camera, or video game, or cereal, or any one of the hundreds of other products that are brought to our attention each day. We feel like fools when we give in and buy something only to find that the only lasting effect of the purchase is the bill we get each month to pay for it.

But when we want to sell something, do we apply strict standards to how we present our product? Is our house really in an excellent location? Is the air conditioner unit really like new? Does the car really get that many miles per gallon? And how new are the tires, really?

In this episode we see Liz both cheated and cheating. He doesn't like either experience. That's why it's important for us to be honest and discerning. Honesty is a character issue. Discernment is a skill. Develop both in your children and they'll thank you for it when they are adults. Really.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What were the water monkeys that Liz ordered?
A. Fairy shrimp.

Q. What did Liz hope they would do?
A. Help him amaze his friends.

Q. What did Liz buy at the mall?
A. A motorized car.

Q. What happened when he tried it at home?
A. It didn't work.

Q. Who did Liz help with his scheme to sell a cure-all tonic?
A. Professor P. T. Barnum Chuckwalla.

Q. What did Liz do in order to help him?
A. He pretended that he had been cured by the tonic.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


Read Isaiah 33:15-1. What does God promise to those who are honest in their dealings with others?


Verse 16 says that those who are honest will be kept safe, and they will have all the provisions of food and water that they need. God has promised to provide for our needs (Philippians 4:13, Matthew 6:25-34) and we do not need to deceive or connive in order to get them.


Have you ever bought (or asked for) something that broke right away or never did what it promised to do? How did you feel about that? Have you ever told less than the truth about something that you wanted to sell or trade? Talk this over with your parents week and ask them to help you to be honest in your talk and actions and to be wise when you listen to or read advertisements.
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