Tainted Toys

by Tim Hall
Wasn’t this just on the news? Again we’re hearing about a recall of toys marketed by a trusted name. Lead-based paint has been found in more items, and that poses a risk to the health of our little ones. Stores are being swamped with returns, and company stocks are taking a beating.
The very thought of tainted toys is haunting. Infants and toddlers have a natural instinct to put things in their mouths. If the toy in their hand contains a toxic substance, what kind of damage will be done? Parents wonder if any toys are safe.
The bright side of this story is that most parents are concerned about the welfare of their children. How sad it would be if news like this was received with widespread apathy!
But what about toys that have not been recalled? Do we assume they’re safe? Even if the materials from which they’re made are toxin-free, does that mean our children should be playing with them?
What kind of damage results from many of the video games that are popular in our society? Aside from the content of the games, is it healthy for a child to spend hours alone in front of a television? The fashion dolls and action heroes that are sold en masse — is there an underlying message these toys send that might not be healthy? Perhaps our greater concern should not be with the materials found in toys, but in the directions in which toys take young minds.
And what about our toys? Though we’ve matured beyond childhood, do we not still have our toys or pursuits we enjoy playing with? Have we examined these to see if they contain things that might harm our souls?
Peter sent out an alert to Christians long ago: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11, NKJV). Lead paint will war against brain cells and physical organs. Fleshly lusts cause damage that lasts much longer than lead poisoning!
See the principle at work in the life of David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). When David allowed his eyes to play with a sensual scene, a tragic series of events followed (read about it in 2 Samuel 11). How much better it would have been had David followed the wisdom he once spoke: “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me” (Psalm 103:5).
Little children must be protected from poisons! And here’s more good advice for little children: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin …” (1 John 2:1). If it has even a scent of sin about it, put it down and walk away.

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