It took me years to realize that most of us have an unbelievable talent at finding faults in others but are completely blind to our own transgressions.
Last week I saw this hypocrisy in full display as a certain person I know from the marketing world got on Twitter to decry unethical people fresh off her own ethical lapses the week before. This is mild compared to the numerous people that we’re surrounded by and that for one crime or another really ought to be in jail or worse.
Even though this coming Easter Sunday is about God’s grace for an undeserving humanity, I believe most of us are so self-righteous (and I’m not talking “religious people” necessarily) that many of us never understand what Easter really is about. In my experience I find that most of us believe that we’re basically good people and that if we live a generally better life than worse everything’s going to be “cool” with God.
I’m not going to preach but I believe that in my own human observation most of us need more forgiveness than we humanly are able to give each other. That’s part of what grace is about and this is a thought that constantly consumes me in deterring my children from thinking like self-righteous people.
The best way I can model God’s grace in my life is by using my children’s worst moments to show them God’s grace. Yes, you might call this another “PapiBlogger Parenting trick.”
What this means is that sometimes, randomly when my kids have been at their worst behavior, I’ll use those episodes to talk to them about what they did wrong. In those instances I’ll tell my son Jonathan or my older daughter Elena, “you know, you guys really blew it. Can you tell me what you did bad?” In a whisper they will often say what they each did and then I’ll say to them, “You each deserve a very big punishment.”
Just as suddenly as the kids expect me to come down on them, I’ll use that moment to come back to them with grace. “Well, today I’m not going to punish you. I’m going to give you grace, complete forgiveness, because that’s what Papa Dios wants to teach you because He loves you.” The result of giving somebody undeserved forgiveness is almost always quiet amazement. Amazing grace.
I don’t know how my kids will remember my teachings of grace but I do believe that if they understand manage to understand their own imperfect ways at an early age and how God can help them overcome their self-righteousness they will be well grounded as human beings when they grow up.
What do you think about occasionally giving your kids complete forgiveness when they don’t deserve it?