Dear mother at the grocery store, I'm sorry for judging you when your child broke down at the register because you wouldn't let him have a candy bar. I've now been there, tears and all. Screw those dang racks of crap they line the checkout lines with.
Dear mother with the messy house, I'm sorry for judging you when I came over thinking you should have prioritized straightening your home up before company came. I now realize that toddlers are horrifically messy ALL THE TIME, as our we, and our fellowship shouldn't be based on our ability to be ‘presentable'.
Dear mother who yells at her children, I'm sorry for judging you when you lost your temper. “I'd never speak to my children that way…” Yes. Apparently I would. Because I've already asked forgiveness for doing so twice today.
Dear mother who loses her temper, passes the children off to her husband, and goes to lock herself in the bathroom to curl up in fetal position and cry out to the Lord, I'm sorry for judging your ability to manage and handle it all. Because now I realize that in and of ourselves, all of us are weak and in desperate need of the Lord's free grace and abounding mercies.
Dear everyone ever, I'm sorry for not being more compassionate about what you're experiencing. What battles you're fighting. What you're enduring, past or present.
This past week, the Lord has reached out to me in intense ways, continually reiterating to me a very simple point: BE LIKE CHRIST.
As a control freak, my reaction is always to want control people and the situation. “If only they did this, maybe the wouldn't be in those circumstances…”, “If I were them, I'd make sure I was doing this…”, “I would've handled it this way…”
None of those mirror or imitate Christ.
Christ was a bold man, and despite what many would have you believe, a man that was much more than a ‘nice guy preaching about love'. It's not all about the love. Was Christ love? Of course. Never a greater testament of love existed than Christ's love for his people and the work he accomplished for them in his death and resurrection. But Christ came to demonstrate love through truth and the realities of God. In fact, even Christ (on occasion) became angry with unrighteousness.
Being Christ like isn't about being spineless, watered-down, or peace-seeking. Didn't Christ start a revolution? Isn't he still causing waves, thousands of years later?
Being Christ like means living out the truths he proclaimed:
– We are all sinners in desperate need of salvation. ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23).
– Salvation is secured by knowing and believing that Christ was the Son of God, that he was sent here to earth by God to live sinlessly, die on a Roman cross, atone for his people's sin as the perfect sacrifice, be raised from the dead, and offer us communion with a Holy and Just God.
– God's mercy is free (entirely and completely) to us because Christ paid our debts.
It's not about seeking to be sinless, as Christ was. After all, umm, I failed at that, like, A ZILLION TIMES.
It's not about trying to be good enough, to show people through my works that I'm, like, SO HOLY.
It's about falling to my knees in desperation… clinging to Christ's righteousness as my own… clinging to God's promise of mercy and forgiveness to those who love Christ… and laying myself open, bare, to that atonement.
It's not about constantly shoving people in the direction that I think they should go, but rather, walking alongside them in love – boldly, and compassionately, proclaiming God's truths.
So I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not showing the world the compassion that I am so desperately in need of myself.
As Paul said, Jesus Christ has come to save sinners ‘of whom I am the worst' (1 Timothy 1:15).
Parenthood, marriage, and well, that little bit in the middle called ‘life', continually push me to my knees, reaching up to heaven.
I'm happy to have each of you by my side in His mercy. Messy houses, fussy children, lost tempers and all.
More of my posts on motherhood:
- While the Husband's Away…
- Screen Time and Farm Kids
- Wrinkles and Chin Hair
- Post Pregnancy Body
- One Way to Live Your Life
- Stay at Home Mom