And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34
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. Psalm 103:10-12
I’ve been thinking on these verses, and comparing how God deals with our sins with how Satan deals with our sins.
When Satan brings up our sin, he’s not bringing it up for our edification. He is the accuser. How is that different than God, who hates our sin and tells us so, too?
When my children were younger, part of my role as the parent was to name things: flowers and animals, colors and numbers. I also named abstract things: That’s anger. That’s gentle. This is kind. That’s disrespectful. I still do this with Laurel to some extent, who is almost four.
As my children have gotten older, naming their behavior seems less appropriate and more like taking the role of accuser instead of namer. So I’ve been examining how I interact. I do not want to be an accuser– assuming motives and passing sweeping judgments casually. “You’re being selfish” “You were trying to get your own way”
So I’ve been attempting to help them identify their behavior: Was that submissive obedience? Were you angry that you didn’t get your own way? Was that selfishness? Were you doing what was best for Laurel or what was best for Bethel?
This approach works well, except when they deny any ill motives or sinful behavior. My desire when they can’t or don’t want to admit they are wrong is to repeat my accusation, increase the intensity of my correction, keep pushing until I get the response I’m looking for. Sometimes I’ve been guilty of assuming too much, and I can see by the indignation in their eyes that my accusation is off the mark. I think it’s possible that I’m taking over the Holy Spirit’s job. I need to be praying that He will convince my children of their sin. I think sometimes it’s appropriate to make statements about their behavior, but I think helping them to evaluate their behavior and motives with questions is a better goal.
That’s what I’ve been working on this week.