Romans 5:8 – But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (HCSB)
Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NIV)
As I am sitting at the kitchen table and finishing my coffee, I am listening to the grandchildren play down the hall. They are building towers with blocks when our grandson kicks over our granddaughter’s tower. I am listening to the heated conversation that follows; ready to step in if necessary. The storm appears to have blown over when I hear him say that he is sorry but then goes on to inform her that she MUST forgive him because he apologized. In a very calm voice she says “no”. I’m thinking I’d better tip-toe down the hall and take a peek at this situation! I watch as he starts to explain to her again how she MUST forgive him. She just sits quietly and looks at him while he gets more and more agitated, then very calmly says “no”. He starts in again on how she MUST forgive him but then adds that if she doesn’t forgive him, she is a sinner. She looks at him and, without a sound, gets up and walks out of the room. He goes after her and in a loud voice says, “you can’t walk away when I’m telling you that you’re a sinner!” I am swallowing my laughter as I try to explain to him that you can’t MAKE someone forgive you and that calling her a sinner probably isn’t the best way to get her to forgive him!! Lord, aren’t Your children just like these children? We try to tell people that they MUST behave a certain way and then call them sinners and wonder why they won’t listen to what we have to say. Lord, I think of how You treat sinners. You speak to sinners and allowed them to speak to You. Mark 2:13-17 tells of You having dinner with sinners and talking to them with respect. You didn’t yell at sinners or threaten them. Instead You died an indescribably horrible death so that sins could be forgiven. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned, so Lord, thank You for talking to me and allowing me to talk to You. Thank You for not giving up on me when I disappoint You, but You welcome me home like Your parable of the son in Luke 15. Father, thank You for giving Your only son so that I could be forgiven.