The Joey Chronicles – Path to Freedom / “Where Does Sin Come From?”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
Joey’s life of crime began at an early age.
When Joey was 2 days old he kept crying so that Mom thought he was still hungry – even though he wasn’t.
When he was three months old he went potty when his Dad was changing his diaper even though he knew his Dad didn’t like that.
“Martha, help! He did it again!”
If a three-month old could laugh, Joey would have been having fits as Dad scrambled to clean up the mess. He did giggle – quietly.
When he was six months old he waited until the spoonful of Gerber’s baby spinach was midair before hitting it so it flew all over the kitchen.
When his sister was born and he was four, he made sure that Mom remembered to pay attention to him by hiding under the bed until she came looking.
When the babysitter tried to put him to bed when he was seven, he sulked and pouted until she let him watch an extra half hour of cartoons.
When he was nine, he was good at changing the timer on the piano so that he only practiced 25 minutes instead of 30 so that he could go out and play with his friends.
He always took the biggest piece of chicken at dinner time. Unless Dad got it first.
He got his friends in trouble at school for talking in the lunch line when it was his fault.
Joey’s life of crime blossomed into a full-blown enterprise by the age of 10. When Dad and Mom would ask, “Joey, did you light the turtle on fire? Why are there scorch marks on the shell?” Joey would look at them with innocent eyes and say “No, that was my friend Johnny. I told him not to – but he did anyway.”
Joey had even made up an imaginary friend who would take the blame – although Dad and Mom didn’t seem to buy it.
The one thing that kept Joey from heading towards a total life of crime was the fact that he had asked Jesus in his heart when he was 7 years old. Jesus had given him the Holy Spirit to help him fight the battle that was always going on in his heart between right and wrong.
Joey’s friends would say, “It’s OK if you disobey your parents. Everybody does it. They love you anyway and if you get in trouble they will forgive you no matter what.”
“You are a good kid Joey, everybody says so!”
But Joey knew if he thought about something he usually did it. And a lot of those thoughts weren’t. good., they were bad. They came from his heart to his head to his actions.
And the more he thought about bad things the more he wanted to do them. The only times he was good was when he was thinking and doing good things so much that he didn’t have time for the bad stuff.
Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Joey prayed that night before he went to bed and said, “Dear Jesus, I’m sorry for the things I cover up that are so bad. Help me to listen to you more than I listen to my old heart so that I don’t have time for a life of crime because of all the good things that you want for me.”
As he finished praying Mom called out, “Joey have you seen the cookies I put on the counter for your lunch tomorrow?”
“Uh oh.” Joey sighed and walked slowly towards the kitchen.