March 3, 2013

Will I ever grow up?

Online puzzles can be addicting. (I will not put in the link). The pictures are beautiful and there is nothing wrong with doing one or two puzzles, but doing one after the other until long after bedtime and being tired and not able to function well the next day reveals my childish inability to think about consequences.

Pointing to the same verse that I’ve read all week, the devotional reading says that, “In children there is something worse than ignorance and weakness, and that is their childish follies. A father and mother will put up with a thousand little ways in their children that strangers would frown at. There are all sorts of excuses made on their behalf, and it is right enough that it should be so. It is not weakness in children, it is just childishness. And so parents bear with their children.”

How true. I remember thinking my children were being cute with antics that I later wish I had not encouraged. I’ve watched parents laugh at behavior I might want to reward with a spanking. Our little ones are so precious in our eyes that we put up with far more than others would if they were tending them. So it is with God.

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)

However, in my black and white ways, others might see immaturity and I label it as rebellion, then turn around and miss it or excuse it in myself. I can be like a little child who thinks he owns the playground. I forget that even all my rules also apply to me.

In childish displays of thinking I know everything, those thoughts display how little I know. In childish pride, I think I am pleasing God, but in that smugness am totally displeasing Him. I turn around and evaluate the behavior of others with the certainty that God is not pleased with them, and fail to realize that my judgmental attitude is His first concern.

Spurgeon writes about childishness in terms of acting in ignorance, even acting without thinking or forgetting what I am supposed to do, like a child who does not know better, or is impulsive, or has been told but has not yet cemented that command in her memory. I am like that. My Father puts up with a lot of silliness.
Sometimes I also forget that He loves me with an everlasting, unconditional love. Sometimes I act without thinking about what He has taught me, or do things that I’ve said I’ll never do again, but wind up repeated them in a thoughtless and impulsive way.

I even forget about my Father’s compassion and then beat myself up for being such an idiot. I forget His great compassion demonstrated by His Son when He prayed for his murderers — “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus is like the Father who does the same with us; He forgives because we do not know what we do. We are like sheep and like children, sometimes willy-nilly without any sound judgment about anything.

Yet He has compassion. Jesus showed it toward Pilate when the man condemned Him to die. He said, “The one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin” (John 19:11). Pilate was guilty of great sin, but Jesus told him that there was a greater sin; it was the best he could say for Pilate, and a display of God’s compassion.

If my God has such kind thoughts ready for His adversaries, I can be certain that He has them ready for me, His child. Whether my behavior is sinful and wayward, or merely immature and unthinking, He has compassion on me. He does not laugh and certainly does not encourage my silliness, but sometimes I hear a sigh, and now and then I hear Him chuckling. 

1 comment:

Paula said...

Wow~ this was a wonderful post. Just what I needed, too... even if the words found me just where I am.
My first visit here~ wonderful blog!