I stood on the porch and watched my eight-year-old son emerge from the house with his head hanging, mouth turned under and eyes focused on the ground. Moments earlier he had bounded into his dad’s (my ex’s) house to ask a question as I waited for the answer.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I let the door slam and got in trouble,” was his reply.
“Well, you know what to do. Tell them you were wrong and seek forgiveness,” I stated.
“We don’t do that here, Mom,” my son informed me.
I remembered this scene a few months ago while teaching on reconciliation. The last point of the session was: make extending and seeking forgiveness a way of life.*
Many of us know what God requires and even practice His ways under certain circumstances (at home with our families, during Bible studies, and possibly with our Christian friends). However, outside a “Christian” setting (and sometimes within) asking for forgiveness, putting others first, or standing up for the undefended is awkward, uncomfortable, and frowned upon. It’s a sign of weakness, not strength. We fear ridicule and rejection so mumble through with a wimpy, “I’m sorry,” take a defensive stance or say nothing.
I don’t fault my son for living a dichotomized life; at his young age he knew no better. Yet we cannot be true followers of Christ by picking and choosing when Christian behaviors apply and when they don’t.
Let’s be people who proactively participate in God’s ways in the midst of life no matter where we are or how tough it may be. With the power of the Holy Spirit’s leading, let’s “do that here”—let’s make implementing Christian mandates a way of life.
*Victorious Christian Living Conference taught by Don and Barb Winters January 2014 – To download the teachings, go to the VCL Conference tab above the family photo