“Go to bed.” “Go to the Bathroom.” “Shut the door.”. “Leave that alone.” “Get in the car.” “Get out of the car”. “Knock it off.”.
If you are a parent or have been around little humans, you have said these phrases over and over again. Today was one of those days when my youngest just wanted to argue with me and not listen. I was at my wit’s end. How much easier her life would be if she just listened and how much less stress I would have but that’s part of being a parent.
God is our parent. He gives us rules to follow, we don’t, Jesus forgives us, and rinse and repeat. The beautiful thing is unlike us, when we mess up and don’t listen, Jesus forgives and God loves. He doesn’t get angry or frustrated.
And God spoke all these words:“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lordyour God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parentsto the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lordyour God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 2:1-17
The rules in our house are pretty simple. Listen to Mom and Dad, work hard, and be kind. That’s about it. It’s not overly difficult. God have Moses the ten commandments. When Jesus came, he simplified them with two commandments: Love God, Love Your Neighbor.
We are like children in many ways. We have rules and we don’t want to follow them. The rules seem simple but because of our sinful nature and the devil’s influence, we break them all the time. God knew we couldn’t keep them, even the simplified ones, so Jesus will forgive us, and we get better.
I know there will be a day when my kids finally get the rules. Or I can make believe that day will happen before they are 18. But just like God, I forgive them over and over. Unlike God, I still get upset and have a hard time letting it go. But Jesus is will always forgive us.
We know God gives us rules and we break them. When we do, we go to Christ. Try to be forgiving like Christ when those around you break your rules. Understand that you break them and God forgives. You can be more Christ-like in forgiving.
Lord, give us compassion and strength when others don’t listen to his or to you. We know many fail, including us, on keeping your rules. We thank you for your son who always forgives us when we don’t follow your way and your rules. Help us follow your rules better and give us the words to help others along their path. In your name, Amen.
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