My children confront me everyday with a choice about which characteristic of God is going to be most pronounced. I typically go with the anger of God approach without mixing in the eternal wrath. I stop myself before I condemn them to some sort of eternal punishment, but the thought does run through my mind.
Choosing mercy is like not letting your child play on the iPad all day. It sure would be easier to go the iPad all day route just like it would be easier to get mad, angry and out of control. Choosing mercy is a disciple though that does not seek selfish reward, but seeks the well being of another first. Choosing mercy requires a strength that goes beyond ourselves.
Jesus provides this pathway in Luke 10. He provides a pathway to a different kind of mercy. A different approach towards healing. A different approach toward teaching. A different approach in purpose. A different approach in living.
The importance of Identifying with the why instead of the what:
Identifying with my children is one way that I can choose mercy versus judgement. I will can best explain it by sharing an experience from my sons’ life. Both my boys have something called Sensory Processing Disorder. It is a learning disorder that impacts their daily lives. One of my sons is severely impacted by SPD. He had a rough day yesterday; I had to find a way to choose mercy. One of those ways was being able to identify with him in his pain and frustration. We watched this video together.
As we watched this video we began to talk through his daily pains and experiences. It helped us move beyond the symptoms of his problems and help get to some of the roots of them. As I identified with his experience it became easier to choose mercy.
Leading them to something greater helps us choose mercy.
My son gets very frustrated because he has this condition. He says that beautiful phrase that all people say at some point in life, “I just want to be normal.” It was here that I could explain the beauty of the gospel. That the Father has crafted you in his image and you are beautiful to him. That Jesus came because he knew you were hurting and needed someone to offer you a greater hope. And that the Spirit is going to lead you on a journey that will take this beautiful young man God has created and do wonders.
Not sure he understood all of it. It is the problem with having a pastor dad. This is some of the stuff we are going to be talking about next Sunday at church. Join us on March 30th if you can.