Tar Babies

The old American folktale of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox tells of how Brer Fox once tricked Brer Rabbit by making a doll made of tar. As Rabbit bounced by to speak to the tar baby, he was aggravated by how the doll never spoke back. As a result, he ends up punching the doll and getting all entangled and trapped in the tar – just as Brer Fox had hoped he would. Likewise, there are many “traps” out there set to get us stuck:

Fears: Who hasn’t had to deal with fears? Either fear of rejection, circumstances, situations and countless other justifiable reasons. However, as Christians we are consistently assured there is no need for fear and that we are to be courageous (Isaiah 41:10). Thankfully, by God’s grace, there can be no courage if it weren’t for the existence of fear. So, he knows our temptation to fear and promises in spite of its reality, He is even more powerful to enable us to overcome all our fears.

Doubts: We doubt often times due to a lack of trust. However, God has never and will never turn away from His promises, for He declares He will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). When we take Him up on this promise, we realize we never had any reason to doubt in the first place. It’s the first step of faith to trust without seeing and in that trust, we are blessed. 

Greeds: We can all struggle from time to time with wanting more, and that’s not necessarily bad. For we may want more faith, more wisdom, more opportunity and more hope. However, it’s when our wants turn to selfish motives that we get tripped up (Matthew 23:12). However, a spirit of humility defuses greed because as CS Lewis once said, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourself less”. Therefore, it’s a difficult thing to be humble and greedy at the same time. 

Application: “Cling Free” – Galatians 5:1
Perhaps this world and our enemy has tar babies set up all over to catch us up in their trap. However, in Christ, we don’t have to be lured in. Instead, we have been set free from such entanglements to live life abundantly in Christ and for Christ. So, next time we see the trapping of fear, doubt and greed pass our way, let us rely on the promises of our Lord and pass them by with an attitude of gratitude for Him making us all the wiser and freer.

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