"Is your acceptance by God based on your own goodness or on His goodness and mercy?"
This was a quote I heard this past weekend at a homeschool convention in Nashville. It really struck home with me....because it was followed up with this question:
"In light of how you view your acceptance by God, how do you parent your children?"
Do I parent my children as God parents me? Do I readily give grace and mercy, love and compassion when they miserably fail--just as God does for me?
I am so very sorry to say that often I don't. When the conference speaker asked that question, I cringed inside, hearing my own voice saying things like, "Well, I'm glad you're sorry, but next time....." or "If you would/wouldn't have done such-n-such then......" I need to learn to say more readily, "I forgive you, I love you...no matter what!"
Not that I mean to say I think of my love for my children as conditional, but how often do I act like it is. All because I'm still angry at them for their bad behavior. What if God treated me like that?
I want to respond like God! I want to respond like the father in the story of the prodigal son. So quick to forgive, never holding a grudge, always full of grace.
Ephesians 1:7 tells us that God lavishes His grace on us: "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." That is beautiful!
I leave you with a final quote from that speaker:
"Learn grace. Seek grace. Give grace."