“It’s just a drawing!”
“We already have this!”
She made these exclamations while tossing some of her birthdays gifts to the floor and disregarding the love, care and thoughtfulness that her family and friends extended to her. They loved her and wanted to give her gifts they thought she would enjoy.
Instead she met them with disdain.
My daughter, who normally cherishes torn scraps of paper & guards it with her life if someone else gave it to her, was excited, hyper, and lacking self-control during her 5th birthday party this weekend. While she enjoyed her friends, she verbally made known all her thoughts concerning their gifts.
Usually my husband and I have a hard time processing a situation quickly and knowing what to do, especially in public, when it comes to correcting and discipling our children. We usually need time to think about a correct response and follow through.
When her behavior revealed her heart of ingratitude and self-love, we paused the opening of gifts to have a chat with her about her heart toward her friends. Did it help?
No, she did it again.
We then upped the ante and told her if she didn’t like the gifts she was graciously given, she could give them all back. That seemed to get through to her and she was great for the rest of that time, giving hugs to everyone and saying thank you which is what we expect from her.
Yet I still failed.
After the opening of gifts was over and before she got to go outside to play, I took her to her room to talk privately and in depth about what happened. She already knew that it was wrong.
“I know what you’re going to say, Mommy.”
“What am I going to say?”
“That I’m ungrateful.”
“Yes, but there’s more.”
I continued to talk with her about the evidence of our hearts which come out in our words or behavior (Proverbs 4:23-27)
As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man.” — Proverbs 27:19
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” — Luke 6:45
I used Scripture to help her understand her sin and reminded her of why she needs a Savior. This was all great but then I said something absolutely terrible.
“I was sad and embarrassed by you.”
As soon as these words left my mouth, I realized that I was also the one who lacks self-control. My own heart betrays my best intentions and spiritual growth. I remember hearing these messages as a child. I remember the shame associated with being a disappointment and not meeting others’ expectations.My own heart betrays my best intentions and spiritual growth. Click To Tweet
I cried and apologized to her. I told her how wrong it was of me to verbally shame her as the source of my worth, identity and reputation. I asked for her forgiveness and we prayed together for God to forgive both of us.
We are restored with God and with each other. She has the consequence of writing apologies to her guests. Yet, this situation revealed the greater truth for all of us.
While we are saved by faith, we are still sinners. We live in the in-between.
We know salvation and forgiveness yet we still struggle with sin on a daily basis. Does this discount our salvation? NO! But it does provide constant opportunity to humble ourselves before the Lord.
Living in the present/future, or the already/not yet reality of life with Christ while on this earth, can either support or demolish our testimony depending on how we deal with our sin. I was confronted with my sin as I confronted my daughter with her sin. We both need the same message. We need the gospel. Not just once; every single day.
We need the gospel. Not just once; every single day. Click To Tweet
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” — Romans 7:15-25
May our hearts grow in tenderness of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit residing within us. May we be quick to humble ourselves and seek repentance from our sin – no matter how subtle that sin is – and may we spur one another on toward holiness.