Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be
forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, a
nd running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete
withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:37-38)
Sometimes, my children get on my last nerve. This is not some mealy-mouthed confession.
At times, it’s pretty obvious for everyone to see. In my mind’s eye, I see an exhausted little axon
desperately hanging on for dear life as three children frantically pull at her.
My oldest child conveniently forgets that her younger brother and sister have equal access
rights to "her" parents. You would think that this child spent 10 years as an
only child instead of two. My younger daughter has frequent bouts of deafness
accompanied by a look on her face as if to say, "Oh, you were talking to me?"
And my 23-month-old son, the baby in our family, whips through the house with
ferocious energy, mowing down all in his path. Oh yes, these are the halcyon days of motherhood.
I am offended almost daily with multiple assaults on my senses:
explosive diapers, potty training skirmishes, inconsolable crying
sessions for "no reason," outright defiance, and laziness. Oh, but how wonderful
even in these moments to remember grace. Often not without gritted teeth and grimaces.
Lord, give me your peace.
I have a wise friend who shared with me that God reminded her of His great mercy for moments like these.
When her children have offended her, she remembers that God’s mercy is new each day, and
so offers them the same. Offences are addressed when received; correction is given, and for each new day, new mercy.
Matthew 6:14-15 reads, "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Forgiveness is when mercy is given for injury, after we’ve been wounded by our children.
Hurt by their immature indifference. Their seeming ingratitude. Their angry outbursts.
In forgiveness, we choose not to hold that hurt against them.
And forgiveness is the understanding that we are able to forgive only because we were first forgiven much by Jesus Christ.
If we can mete out forgiveness on the highway to a raging driver, in the workplace to an angry coworker,
at the grocery store to a rude clerk, or on the telephone to an unhelpful customer service representative,
then surely we can also give it at home to God’s heritage.
Application: In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus gets to the heart of the matter.
The time of an eye for an eye is over. Our God is a merciful God.
As we endeavor to be more like Him, let’s remember to forgive.
Affirmation: "Father, thank you for my child(ren). Help me to be patient with them and to offer them the forgiveness you have so lovingly shown to me."