"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."
(2 Corinthians 4:15-17)
“You expect me to be perfect.” Ever heard this from your husband, kids, or echoing around in your own head? I think we tend to beat ourselves up when we mess up and it often comes out like that. It’s nothing more than a desperate attempt to point out how you will never get it right. This was actually a conversation with one of my kids a while back. When I asked what he meant he said, “It seems like when I do something wrong you always correct me.” I almost laughed until I thought about how it must seem from his point of view.
Before becoming a Christian I didn’t know what sin was, but I knew how it made me feel. Discouraged, broken down, hopeless. I grew up in a family where you did whatever you wanted and needed to survive. My parents didn’t correct me, didn’t show me right from wrong just expected me to figure it out. The first time I heard the Gospel of Christ I was amazed. The verse that really caught me off guard was Romans 5:8 - "But God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
It was obvious that I was a sinner; I knew from experience there was no way I could come close to perfect, but to find out that God loved me so much that He DEMONSTRATED His love by giving all He had for me was mind blowing. Growing up, all my friends thought that having no rules or punishments was cool, but my whole life all I wanted was for someone to show me love.
I explained to my son that night that we demonstrate our love for our kids when every time they do something wrong, we correct them and encourage them to make wise choices. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be showing them love. I also pointed out all the ways we show them grace because God in his grace has forgiven our mistakes.
No one is perfect, but for those of us in Christ, God sees us as perfect through His grace and His sacrifice. The funny thing is, the more we understand God’s love and grace, the more we strive to do the right things and honor Him. Do “corrections and punishments” sometimes still come as a result of our bad choices? Yes, but when we understand that we are His children and He is teaching and guiding us, they don’t seem so bad.
It is a blessing and encouragement to remember what my life was like before knowing God and to look at the choices I am now able to make because of His transforming work in me. I can see the result of His correction in my life and it is easy to say, “Do not lose heart my friends!”
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the correction and discipline you bring into my life out of your great love for me. Please continue to teach me, guide me and mold me into the image of your son.
Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 4