Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8 (and other places)
One of the good things about receiving feedback is that I am challenged to continue thinking about a matter. That’s why I welcome comments that challenge something I have said, and even comments that I might ultimately continue to disagree with. It’s also why I’m thankful for my husband, who is one of the few who are bold enough to tell me I’m wrong, and are gracious when I finally admit they’re right. 🙂
Lee doesn’t like the word ignore. I harumphed a bit when he told me this, but when I looked it up, I realized he was right. The AHD says ignore means “To refuse to pay attention to; disregard.” Then I noticed that this is what Diane seems to be saying in her comments, too.
And another friend reminded me that Jesus paid an awful price for every single sin I have ever committed or will commit. In this sense, God does not “disregard” our sin. But there is a sense where God does not bring up every failing. Who could stand up to a laundry list of every single area of struggle, every thought, every action? It would be too overwhelming for a person who feared the Lord and was attempting to be obedient to His Word.
I still believe there is something to be learned about God, and parenting, in understanding what it means that God does not “mark every sin.” I think it’s safe to say that I need to understand how to wisely decide what to address immediately and thoroughly, and what to defer to another time and place.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children’s children (Psalm 103:8-17).
What is God teaching you this week? How is Scripture changing you?
Barbara H. says
I have heard preachers say that when we confess our sin as per I John 1:9, when it says He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrghteousness, the latter phrase means He takes care of everything, even what we didn’t know to confess. I am not phrasing that the best way, but ti was a comfort to me. I used to be afraid to take communion in case I had forgotten to confess something. My pastor advised to ask the Lord to search us and show us what we needed to confess and then to deal with anything that came to mind. Once we’ve earnestly done that I don’t think we have to worry about something lurking that we’ve missed.
We mentioned maturity the other day: I think there is a spiritual parallel there as well. I became a Christian as a teen-ager, and there were things I was convicted about 20 years later that I never thought about when I was first saved. While they were still wrong even in my spiritual infancy, the Lord was gracious to give me time to grow before dealing with them. It would have been so overwhelming and discouraging if He had dealt with us about everything that needed changing all at once.
Sometimes, too, with my own children, what I correct them on depends on what else is going on in their lives. If we have just had a major situation before dinner, I am not likely to correct table manners that particular night: I don’t want to discourage them or take away from the bigger lesson we’ve just gone over.
While I don’t think the Lord ignores sin, I don’t think he calls us on every little thing, either, for the reasons mentioned above.
Barbara– You’re doing a better job explaining what I’m trying to communicate about God. What interests me is that this attribute of God seems to be connected with how a parent interacts with his own children.
Diane Heeney says
It seems from scripture that God holds us accountable for what we know (Jas 4:17). Just as I don’t expect my 8 year old to understand algebra or even know what the word is; but I do expect him to have a good grasp on two-column addition, which he has been taught. The law is our schoolmaster. With age ought to come understanding, as we train up our children…with each year they put away more and more of their childish thinking/reasoning (1 Cor. 13:11,12).
No disagreements here. So you think that childish thinking/reasoning might include sinful thinking/reasoning? Do you think the distinction Scripture makes with childish/mature thinking might also imply a distinction in dealing with mature and immature thinking? Do you think that the distinction might also apply to spiritual maturity? How would this look in real life for spiritual matters?I’m also curious to know how you would (or if you would) imitate Jesus as he described here:
A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. Matthew 12:20