Dad's Brownies
A father of some teenage children had the family rule that they could not attend PG-13 or R rated movies. His three teens wanted to see a particular movie that was playing at local theaters. It was rated PG-13. The teens interviewed their friends and even some members of their family's church to find out what was offensive in the movie. The teens made a list of pros and cons about the movie to convince their dad that they should be allowed to see it.

The cons were that it contained three swear words (but it was only three). It contained some violence (but it was only a building exploding, which is seen on TV all the time, they commented). Finally, there was sexual activity implied in the movie (but you couldn't actually "see" what was going on, so it was acceptable, they suggested).

The pros were that it was a popular movie--a block buster. Everyone was seeing it. If the teens saw the movie then they would not feel left out when their friends discussed it. The movie contained a good story and plot. It had some great adventure and suspense in it, as well as some fantastic special effects. The stars of the film were some of the most talented actors in Hollywood. It probably would be nominated for several awards. Many of the members of their church had even seen the movie and said, "It wasn't very bad."

Since there were more pros than cons, the teens desired permission to go see it.

The father looked at the list and thought for a few minutes. He said he could tell his children had spent some time and thought on this request. He asked if he could have a day to think about it before making his decision. The teens were thrilled thinking, "Now we've got him! Our argument is too good! Dad can't turn us down!" So, they happily agreed to let him have a day to think about their request.

The next evening the father called his three teenagers, who were smiling smugly, into the living room. There on the coffee table he had a plate of brownies. The teens were puzzled. The father told his children he had thought about their request and had decided that if they would eat a brownie then he would let them go to the movie. But, just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons. The pros were that they were made with the finest chocolate and other good ingredients. They had the added special effect of walnuts in them. The brownies were moist and fresh with wonderful chocolate frosting on top. He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe. And, best of all, the brownies had been made lovingly by the hand of their own father.

The brownies only had one con. The father had included a little bit of a special ingredient. The brownies contained just a little bit of dog poop. But, he had mixed it in well--they probably would not even be able to taste the dog poop, and he had baked it at 350 degrees so any bacteria or germs from the dog poop had probably been destroyed. Therefore, if any of his children could stand to eat the brownies which included just a "little bit of filth," and not be affected by it, then he knew they would also be able to see the movie with just a "little bit of filth" and not be affected either. Of course, none of the teens would eat the brownies, and the smug smiles had left their faces. Only dad was smiling as they left the room.

Now when his teenagers ask permission to do something with just a "little bit of filth" involved, the father simply asks, "Would you like me to whip up a batch of my special brownies?"

I ran across that story years ago in a bulletin and have always appreciated the message it conveyed. May young and old alike take it to heart. Truly, life is too short to waste ingesting filth--whether in large or small amounts. May we always remember Philippians 4:8 in this regard - "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."