As a young child in Sunday School, I learned songs designed to introduce me to the Christian faith. One of them went through a few scenarios and encouraged me to take care. “Be careful little eyes what you see,” it said, along with “Be careful little feet where you go.” Other stanzas mentioned ears what you hear, and tongue what you say.
But the song didn’t stop there. It also gave a reason for me to act certain ways. “For the Father up above is looking down with love” it said, “so be careful little _____ what you _____.”
Here’s the sad part. In all the times I sang those words I never pictured a loving God looking down. Instead, I envisioned a mean, scary, angry God watching my every move and just waiting for my little eyes, feet, ears and mouth to do wrong. Then He would be disappointed and punish me in some way. I can’t say whether this was the intention of whoever wrote the lyrics, the goal of the church system, or just my own personal misconception (though I have suspicions). Nonetheless, that’s the way it was.
Only after decades on the spiritual journey have I come to see the compassionate side of God. I now understand that my failures are detrimental to my own well-being, and that’s why they hurt Him as well. These realizations motivate me to be circumspect in how I live. That’s a tune worth singing.