This month I've been reading in the Old Testament, most recently in Leviticus. What a complicated book! So many rules and regulations! And how often did the Israelites fall short of them. Yet God in His infinite mercy and grace continued to give them opportunity and opportunity to return to Him, to turn away from their sins. While they did experience chastisement, they also received forgiveness and so many second chances that I can't count them all. All because God loves His children!
This always makes me think of how far I fall short of God's standards each and every day. When I fail to spend time with Him first thing. When I'm grumpy and short with my family. When I choose to gossip about someone.
And yet when I come to Him, humbling myself and confessing those sins, He always welcomes me with open arms. He doesn't say, "Well, I'll forgive you, but I won't forget about it." Or, "Yes, I love you, but you'd better not do that again." He just loves me, forgives me, picks me up.
Then this makes me think of my own children ...who don't always follow my "rules". Who make the same bad choice time and again. Who forget what I asked them to do the second I walked away.
Then come the apologies, sometimes half-hearted, to which I haven't always responded graciously. I cringe when I think about how I have sometimes accepted their efforts conditionally, "forgiving" them yet reminding them of each thing they did wrong. Just to make sure they got the point, you know.
So unlike our Heavenly Father. Such a poor reflection.
While I know I must chastise my children and discipline them in the ways they should go, I so want to better reflect God to them. To pick them up and dust them off when they blow it. To cover their mistakes with love and grace. To simply say "I forgive you and I love you".
Just like Jesus does for me every day.
Thanks for joining me in the Thirty for 30 challenge today! I hope you'll head over to There Is Grace and maybe even link up a post about how God has been speaking to you lately.