“Can you scold me right now?” Those were Connor’s words as he walked into the living room. “Connor,” I growled, “you are a bad boy!” Of course, I was kidding; I was just responding to his humorous request for scolding. Then he said, “Thanks. I just remembered I have homework.”
This ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem, but it was bedtime. And putting off homework until bedtime would be a problem. I asked if he was serious and with a grave tone of voice he said, “Totally.” I think he expected a real scolding with a serious tone from me, but instead, Phil and I laughed. Phil told him to quickly shower and then he could knock it out. He went to the shower without words.
He didn’t get a genuine scold, punishment or even correction. Why was that? Was it because we no longer cared about our bedtime/homework standard? By no means. We laughed instead of scolded because he delighted us. We were delighted by his clever “scold me now” comment, and it made the violation far less a concern. If he had hidden his mistake, we would have been genuinely concerned.
When we just come to God and tell Him we blew it, He doesn’t pull out the stone tablets from Sinai and point to the ones we violated. Rather, I think
He experiences a kind of delight at our honest, child-like admission.
We could say, “God, go ahead and scold me now” before we even admit our sin to Him, but…He knows. And the punishment our sin requires, Jesus already took. What a counter-intuitive way to live!
God delights in us even when we blow it.
So, the next time you get tempted to tell God, “Just scold me now,” don’t be surprised if you hear His Spirit whisper…”No need, Child. Jesus already took that for you.” That’s the grace of a father toward a child. (2 Cor. 8:9)
Well, that’s what’s been percolating in me lately!
Your Thoughts: In what ways have experienced God’s unmerited grace? Leave a comment here.