Thursday, August 8, 2013

Another Lesson Learned

One of the things God has been teaching me about lately is grace. I've had lessons on the Father's grace for me, and how to walk in that grace. I have also been learning what it means to extend that grace to others. It has been said that a little child shall lead them. The other day I learned a lesson on grace from a ten year old boy.

As some of you know, I drive a bus in the mornings and evenings for a local camp. The ages of the kids range from six to twelve. Sometimes things are quiet because they are tired, sometimes it gets a bit noisy because they are still amped up from the day's activities. One day I had asked one of the boys to put his sunscreen away because he was spraying it on the others. Wouldn't you know it, the next day this same boy was spraying his sunscreen again! I raised my voice a bit and told him to bring the sunscreen to me. When I said that I had already talked to him about spraying the stuff, he said that was yesterday and he didn't know he couldn't spray it that day. Unfortunately, I reacted instead of responding. I lost it and yelled at him. He went back to his seat and slumped down. As we drove down the road, I realized that I had screwed up. He's just a ten year old kid, and we all know that ten year old kids don't always say the brightest things. So, I told him, in front of the other kids, that I was wrong and apologized for yelling at him. He said, "It's okay. It happens." He brightened up for the rest of the trip, and things are good between us now.

As I think about this, two things come to mind. The first is the way our Father treats us when we mess up. While he doesn't excuse our sin, he doesn't hold it over our heads either. Scripture says that he remembers our frame. He knows we're not perfect. He doesn't remind us of that. Instead, he reminds us of who we are. We are his children who have the righteousness of Christ, and the sin that we do is not us. It's not who we are. Our Father is quick to forgive and move on, much like the ten year old boy.

The second thing is the way we should treat others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. We love because God first loved us. We are called to show the same grace to others as God shows to us. Jesus told us to forgive others  forty nine, or four hundred ninety times. The actual number doesn't matter. The point is, we are to forgive those who sin against as many times as needed. We are not to keep track, but keep on forgiving. I believe that this assumes relationship, because you're not likely to forgive someone multiple times if they are not around. The boy on the bus didn't tell me that it was okay but he wasn't going to ride my bus anymore. Things between us went back to normal and continued from there. One goal of  forgiveness and reconciliation is to bring wholeness to both parties. Another is to show God's grace and glory to a watching world. Jesus said that the world will know we belong to him by the way we love one another.

Maybe, if  God's children began to really love each other and seek peace and wholeness in our relationships, the world would look at us and see what we have to offer as something they would want. It worked in the first few centuries of the church's existence. Why not now/


Chris said...

Good post. Maybe Jesus was onto something when he said, ".....unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."


co_heir said...

Thanks Chris. I think that may be part of what Jesus meant.

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