Sermon Illustrations

ROSEMARY'S RAG DOLL

There is a natural, logical kind of loving that loves lovely things and lovely people. That's logical. But there is another kind of loving that doesn't look for value in what it loves, but that CREATES value in what it loves.

Like Rosemary's rag doll. When Rosemary, my youngest child, was three, she was given a little rag doll, which quickly became an inseparable companion. She had other toys that were intrinsically far more valuable, but none that she loved like she loved the rag doll. Soon the rag doll became more and more rag and less and less doll. It also became more and more dirty. If you tried to clean the rag doll, it became more ragged still. And if you didn't try to clean the rag doll, it became dirtier still.

The sensible thing to do was to trash the rag doll. But that was unthinkable for anyone who loved my child. If you loved Rosemary, you loved the rag doll--it was part of the package. "If anyone says 'I love God' yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar," (I John 4:20). "Love me, love my rag dolls," says God, "including the one you see when you look in the mirror. This is the first and greatest commandment."

Source: C. Spurgeon, from a book by Ian Pitt-Watson.

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