I’m thinking that perhaps in my rush for results, I’m trying to teach repentance when I need to teach a few other things first.
Yesterday while the girls were napping and David resting, I spent quite a bit of time reading Psalm 51. And then this morning I was reading Romans 2 and stopped to consider verse 4.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
It seems understood that in order to understand what this goodness is all about, a person must understand who he has offended, and he must understand that there is a penalty for the offense.Then he can understand the goodness of God in his forgiveness.
I am wondering whether there’s a disconnect between the offense and repentance because David doesn’t yet understand God’s right to judge us for our sins. Last week David asked some questions about “bad guys,” a fairly recent interest (the gun-toting guards at our air force base seem to have started the conversation). David wanted to know if there were any bad guys in New Mexico. At the time, I asked him what he thought made someone a bad guy. You can see where I was going with that one, I bet. I let the subject drop, though, soon after.
Now I think bringing up this topic again with David might be a good opportunity to talk about God’s laws, and how God is a righteous judge who must punish sin. I might ask him what he thinks should happen to someone who breaks the New Mexico law, or more simply, a family “law.” I’m curious to see whether he recognizes a sense of justice in these cases.
Before he can understand the need for repentance and God’s gracious provision for it, he needs to understand that he has offended God. I think he gets this, although Bethel doesn’t yet. What he needs to know next is that there is a penalty for sin.
I’m still thinking on this topic, and still praying for wisdom and guidance. I’m also praying that God will teach me about repentance in my own life.
Leave a Reply