Have you ever taken a bite of something that was just too hot and burned your tongue? Or given a compliment and someone smiled? Or maybe you’ve been outside with your kids and pointed out all the beautiful and wonderful things God has created and made because He loves you? I bet we all have experienced teachable moments, either for ourselves or for our kids. They come at the most unexpected times.
Well, we had one in our household this morning. My first born daughter, the one who follows all the rules and wants to make sure to do things right, a perfectionist at heart, messed up. We all mess up and fall. I believe in mercy and grace, but this was an area we have never ventured in our household before; stealing. It wasn’t anything big. It was the littlest piece of chalk that they used at her first day of Vacation Bible School yesterday. So tiny, you’d almost want to throw it away and forget about it. She didn’t even realize what she was admitting to when we were talking. I’m braiding her hair and she is telling me about how yesterday, during Bible study outside, they found some shade and some chalk to write with, except they never got to use their chalk. Instead she brought it home. That stopped me in my tracks and made my mom brain start thinking. First, I went through her bag when she got home and did not see any chalk with her things, so it was hidden. Second, she never said that the counselor told the group to keep their chalk. So I started asking the hard questions.
Me: “Did the counselor say that you could take it home?”
Me: “Did you ask her if it was ok for you to take?”
G: “No. It was just really small and I thought I could just take it. There was so many other pieces. Another girl took it, so I thought it was ok.”
Me: “G, no matter what size the chalk or if someone else was making a bad decision to take it, you were not given it or given permission to take it. What you did is called stealing. You took something that was not yours. Where is it? You are going to have to return it today, apologize and ask forgiveness.”
She immediately went into crying mode. She was scared and afraid they wouldn’t like her. She didn’t feel well. She hated camp and never wanted to go again. She was trying to find an easy way out of acknowledging her sin and asking for forgiveness. I didn’t give in, as much as I wanted to. When we got to church, I made her go in and tell a counselor what she had done and give back the tiny piece of chalk. The counselor told her that she was glad that she was being honest and returning the piece of chalk and later told her that she was forgiven. She buried her head in my shoulder for a little while and didn’t want to let go of me. She was embarrassed, but I think she was relieved, too. She was forgiven. It was finished.
Now let’s look at our lives. We also sin usually multiple times a day, but our loving and faithful Father never turns away and is always by our side (Deuteronomy 31:6). He listens and hears our apology and just like that, He forgives us (Matthew 26:28; Acts 10:43). He doesn’t store up and remember these sins (Psalm 103:12), but wipes the slate clean each day letting us start fresh (Lamentations 3:22-23). How about you? Do you do that, too? With your kids? With your spouse? With your Mom or Dad? How about friends from today or in the past…have you forgiven them, just like Jesus has forgiven you? Jesus hung on that cross to forgive all the sins you and everyone else in the entire world, would ever commit. He went to the cross willingly and knew the choice He had made even though He was without sin. He knew this was the only way. He loves us that much; from the day He was crucified until now. I urge you today, repent from those sins. Ask God to heal your heart of hurt. Be forgiven by our Father and believe it. Give forgiveness as easy and lovingly as God forgives you. You will be glad that you did!
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