December 29, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Safe to Tell the Truth”

Romans 2:1-4 

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

As a child, I observed one way that my parents disciplined my younger brother. When my mom couldn’t get anywhere by raising her voice or sounding threatening, she would soften up and take any consequences of her getting angry off the table. Then the following exchange would take place: “Didi (younger brother),” she would say, “tell me the truth.” Then she would wait. Unfailingly, he would start, “The truth is…” and admit whatever he had done. It was amazing that it always worked! As soon as my mom signaled that she wouldn’t be upset and just wanted the truth, my brother always confessed. He always confessed because she had made it safe for him to do so.

I think back to this when reminded of how God’s kindness is what leads us to repentance. In this passage, Paul describes the right way to look at condemnation of sins. When we are afraid or ashamed of our sins, our natural instincts will be to hide. We might avoid confession, or sometimes we hide behind others by calling to attention their wrongs so that we seem relatively good. By doing so, we avoid facing the reality of our own guilt. More than that, we trample over the costly gift of forgiveness from God and devalued the path of restoration He has offered.

Our Father has paid a great price to show us endless kindness and patience. Now He has made it safe, good, and joyful for us to confess our wrongdoings, and we should gladly do so. As we are led by His kindness, we are free to assess the horror of our sin and the wonderful gift of restoration. He always delights to restore us when we come to Him. Let’s take some time to think about our relationship with God and how that affects our confessions. Are you keeping God at arm’s distance, hoping He doesn’t find out or catch up with you and let you have it? Or are you a child who is secure and unafraid to confess wrongs, eager to be restored? Let’s ask Him to help us live in that latter category. Let’s not keep away when we know we could have joy by encountering Him today.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your kindness! Thank You for making it safe and wonderful to come into Your presence. I know that when I confess my sins, You are faithful to restore and glad to make me more holy. Help me not take for granted Your gifts of forgiveness but live in a way that honors You.
Bible Reading for Today: Luke 12

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