In response to a friend of mine who is a mother of 5 and has been privy of late to a barrage of other parents who have felt the need to share updates of their own children with her only to hang their heads to whisper of “the sin one of their children is caught in because of living with their boy/girlfriend without being married.”
My friends quibble was not so much the living arrangement as it was the fact that these mothers told her wonderful things about all their other children but when it came to their “sinful daughter” that was the only update. No talk about the dreams and goals of their daughter or any of her strengths.
My friends point is about being so displaced in our faith that we now fail to recognize our children for WHO THEY ARE because we are so focused on WHAT THEY DO, thus negating any Gospel of grace that could have been preached through opportunities to love.
Have we become so conditioned by religiosity that we mindlessly call our gossip and judgment “prayer requests,” and our heightened emotions “worship?”
Our cliques are renamed “small groups” and our never ending checklists of spiritual things to do today are nothing short of a pathetic attempt to somehow prove our worthiness of a grace we can never earn, a love we can never fully understand, and an outpouring of a scandalous compassion and forgiveness that would crush us to the core if we could ever wrap our minds around the healing and freedom that is truly ours in the scars of the Savior.
I’m at the point in my life where I have resigned to the fact that He is God and I am not, and I am weary of trying to fix everyone else when I can’t even fix me. I’ve been the one trembling at the feet of Jesus as He told the modern day Pharisees to cast their stones if they were without sin.
What’s interesting about this story is that I can see this woman the Pharisees threw at Jesus with their sneering and their prideful hearts. I also see “this woman” from Samaria…stop the presses…holy moly…is Jesus TALKING to “her?” And yet, while he acknowledges certain lifestyle choices, we never see him downcast and burdened because these women were “living in sin.” He engaged them with questions and conversation, He defended them, and gave them something much deeper and meaningful than a pointing finger or a “prayer request” to his disciples. Everywhere He went He saw value. Above all, He forgave them. THAT my friends is a true representation of a parent/child relationship and should be the model we all strive for.
Another interesting side thought is we are never told “the rest of the story.” And because of this, these examples of forgiveness and grace have been turned into an unrealistic expectation that these women simply walked away and “sinned no more.” I find that highly unlikely for the born again Christian, just based on the human nature that dwells side by side with the Holy Spirit, thus causing the spirit and the flesh to be at war with each other at all times.
So, for what it’s worth parents…love your kids…and the next time you’re tempted to elevate yourself above their sins, try a little compassion and start thanking God for all of their strengths and all the unique giftings He has bestowed on them. Remember, we’re all running the same race. If we are to finish strong, we need to focus on our own training and goals, not someone else’s.