Standing at my kitchen sink thinking of the twenty tasks I’d love to accomplish for the day one of my kiddos sneaks up behind me. ‘I’m sorry Mama’. Half because I think I have to much going on to dig deep into my child’s heart and half because I don’t want to acknowledge that they did something wrong. I don’t always crouch down, look them in the eye, and say ‘You are Forgiven’ Instead I wave my hand and say ‘It’s okay, It’s okay’ and move along in my day and with whatever the next kiddo needs.
I have the opportunity every day to model for them what it looks like to extend forgiveness to someone.
That opportunity is so grand because sin is all around us. We may believe that sin is not taken seriously enough today and that may be true. However serious or unserious society considers sin I think out hearts take it very seriously.
When I tell my kids ‘It’s okay’ instead of I forgive you I’m downplaying sin in our lives. Sin affects people around us and when we can acknowledge it we should.
It’s not okay to hit your siblings,
It’s not okay to steal,
It’s not okay to disobey mom and dad.
It’s not okay. But it can be forgiven.
Because of Jesus we have this amazing thing called forgiveness. It means whatever someone did even though it was not okay it can be forgiven.
It can be forgiven not because we can somehow muster up a feeling of warm fuzzy forgiveness but because of Jesus.
It’s not okay that they were punched on the playground,
It’s not okay their friend betrayed their trust,
It’s no okay their sibling hit them across the face for a fruit snack.
But I can tell them that because of Jesus, it’s going to be okay.
Even when it looks like it’s not going to be anywhere near okay.
It’s not going to be perfect. Life is going to be hard. They are going to do things like punch people on the playground, steal fruit snacks and way dumber and more serious things. They are going to experience things like getting punched on the playground, friends betraying their trust, and a sibling hurting them.
And I don’t have to tell them that any of the ick of sin is okay.
But I am going to tell them they are forgiven.
And I can encourage them to extend forgiveness. Not because ‘it’s okay’ but because of Jesus.
*correction it’s not The Lutheran Hymnal it is Lutheran Service Book.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as it is good for building up,
as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you , along with all malice.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.