Yesterday, my 6 1/2 year old Olivia, had kind of a rough day. It just wasn’t her best day in the listening and obedience department. We’ve been working on that a lot lately. After a bit of frustration with her, at some point in the day I finally said to her, “Olivia that was your last warning.”
So first thing this morning as Olivia and Jackson were doing their little morning chores, Jackson came running into my room and very matter of factly reminded me: “Mom, don’t forget that Olivia is all out of warnings, so next time she has to get it!”
I explained to him that he wasn’t his sister’s behaviour police and that he needed to mind his own business and just worry about his own behaviour.
As he skipped out of my room, I couldn’t help but chuckle at what he had said. Then I thought, “How many times do we as adults feel or think that way about someone? How many times do we look at the faults, weaknesses and failures of others and think, they better get it together because they are all out of warnings, their second chances have run out? We may not ever say it out loud, but we are thinking it.
And we rob them of grace.
The thing is, we aren’t the final say, we aren’t the judge. God hasn’t died and left us in charge of determining who deserves what, and how they should respond “or else.” It’s not up to us. God thinks differently than we do, and he certainly loves that person we find it so easy to point our finger at more than we could ever imagine.
Sometimes we forget that people belong to God, not us. And I’m fairly certain He is perfectly capable of handling all their stuff. Our only job is to extend our hand out to the fallen and be agents of grace and healing. But we can’t do that if we’re focused on highlighting their junk.
I have found God to be one of compassion and mercy, so it stands to reason that His people should be too. Instead of robbing others of the grace that isn’t even ours to by condemning their life or reminding them of their failures…
maybe we should show kindness and love them.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8