The other day I received some really bad news about my oldest son. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a bit--it wasn’t that bad. But for a father to hear of his son's misbehavior at school, it did take me back. I was incredibly disappointed and quite upset. I had taught my son better than this. I knew this situation had to be addressed and it wasn’t going to go well for him. I sent him off to my bedroom allowing myself some time to cool down.
When I finally entered the room, I found a sobbing 10 year old who could barely catch his breath as he expressed how sincerely sorry he was for his lack of judgement and irresponsiblilty. At least that's what I gathered through the crying induced cough, dripping nose, and tears streaming down his face.
But there was no leniency that was about to come from me. No pardon from this parent judge. I had taught my son better. He knew what we expected from him. He was wrong and he had to suck it up and deal with the consequences.
Then it hit me. A deep sense of conviction. How many times have I dropped the ball? How many times have I slipped in lack of judgment or blatant irresponsibility? I too know what is expected of me. How does God respond to my gross neglect of his standard?
He sent his Son to die for the absorbtion of my guilt and receive the penalty for my actions. Then He tells me to go and sin no more. This all flooded into my head in a matter of seconds.
In my son, I saw myself. Guilty, pitiful, and low. In that moment I could do nothing but sit next to him and weep with him in my arms. I explained how I know what it is to make mistakes and drop the ball. But I assured him that no matter how upset I was at him, he would never have to wonder if my disappointment separated him from my love or my hope for Him.
Why did I do/say this? Because I was reminded through the Gospel that this is what God did and says to us through Jesus.
So today think about someone who has dropped the ball in your life. It may be intentional or unintentional. It could be a child who’s not listening to direction, a coworker who you are at odds with, or a friend who’s made a decision you are unhappy with.
As you decide how to handle these situations, think about the magnanimous price that was paid for your mistakes.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)