Yesterday I left a chore list for my kids to accomplish while I was out. When I came home and walked into the kitchen it was apparent they did not do anything on the list. Upon questioning it, I received two responses: from my son, he quickly said “Oh my gosh, I completely forgot, I’m soooo sorry, oh how could I be so stupid. I am so, so sorry” and from my daughter, she said “What chore list?” 😦
Well, other than providing examples on how people respond differently to situations, or how the lines of communication can break down between siblings, or how a morning can be completely absorbed while playing Minecraft (video game), God once again used my children to help me better understand God’s perspective. As I said, Abel was not only quick to apologize but did so over and over and over again. He started berating himself, slapping his forehead with the palm of his hand saying ‘stupid’ and questioning why he can’t remember things. I was perturbed because my instructions were not followed but I forgave them, however my son just kept apologizing and lamenting the fact that he screwed up. It was a severe reaction and I was bewildered by it. After a bit more of him walking in circles and throwing his hands in the air, I told him to just stop, it’s over, he’s forgiven now let’s just get the tasks done. I was already moving on and had no intent of holding his failure over him, there was just a lot to do that day and I needed his help.
Walking away from this situation with my son I wondered if this is how God sees my failures. Although God wants me to recognize my failures and repent of them, does He forgive me more completely if a go on and on about my failure, lamenting the fact that I sinned, and recounting all my short-comings? Or does His grace quickly get applied, His perfect memory forgets my sin and His real desire is for me to re-engage in the plans He has for my life as quickly as possible? If I understand how He forgives, and I believe I do, then yes, He wants me to recognize, repent, and move on just like I wanted Abel to do.
“Thank you Father for Your full forgiveness when I fail so miserably and for Your incredible patience as You wait for me to get over my sins so that I can once again move forward to do the things You have planned just for me. Amen.”