As someone who is a firstborn, it always amazes me how forgiving God is. Firstborns are always all about the rules, the right way of doing things. We also defend the way that we see as right, because that’s how we learned it, so it must always be true. I saw the dark side of this yesterday with a small boy, a firstborn, who raged against the world because he was taken from his birth family. His new family didn’t do things like his old family, even though they were kinder and more generous with him. He longed for the severity and austerity of his home because that was the “right” way. It was hard to watch.
So when God offers this easy forgiveness for the wicked, I get a little feeling in my gut, like, “Hey! Why am I working so hard for this? Why do I have to be so good when they are getting a free pass?” But then I remember. I’m not that good. My pride and my selfishness are just as wicked as anything I see around me. I sin differently. It just looks good in church.
We all this this easy forgiveness, because none of us can earn it. None of us deserve it. We’ve all grown up a certain way, come to expect certain things as our fathers have taught us. Our fathers, many who tried the best they could, also made mistakes. Our pride in the way we do things may be quite wrong to someone else. What we think is “right” by our own rules often isn’t. So stop being harsh to others who sin differently than you do. If you are going to correct someone else’s behavior, be prepared to defend your answer with book, chapter and verse from the word of God. Don’t imagine yourself the arbiter of right and wrong.
God knew our hearts before we did. He knew what would motivate us and what would discourage us. So He has molded and shaped us to be His, but we did not all start the same way, or with the same formation of our spirit. Be patient. God will deal with you in His time. He has not forgotten you. He loves you and He keeps His promises.
Heavenly Father. I am a mess. I was born from a messy family. I have fathered my own messy family. Thank you for not leaving me alone. Thank you for always preparing me with trial and test. Thank you for molding me into the person you need me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.