While I was putting in my contacts, my wife, Kristy, walked into our bathroom with a hand full of slightly furry gummy vitamins. She told me she found them in the back of our closet. We both knew that our five year-old, Anna, was probably the culprit. She had spit out her vitamins once before when she didn't get her favorite brand. Kristy told me that she had already asked Anna if they were hers and she said "no". It was at this point that my righteous indignation started to stir inside. I asked Kristy if she wanted me to "handle it". She did. I knew Anna was most likely lying and that kind of behavior isn't tolerated in my house.
But, before I rushed out of the bathroom to put the cutest five year-old into the dungeon for the rest of her life (without her Polly Pockets I might add), I had an internal dialogue with myself.
I realized something I should realize every moment I start to get the feeling that I, or someone I love, have been wronged. I realized I stand in need of forgiveness because I am a sinner as well. In fact, I do it a lot better than Anna does. That is why I went to Confession less than 24 hours before I stood in my bathroom getting mad about a handful of vitamins covered in carpet fuzz.
This doesn't mean I should tolerate lying, or any other sin. But, what it means is that I have no right to act self-righteous before another sinful human being.
After calming down, I called Anna into my room. I told her lying was never acceptable and then asked her if she wanted to tell me the truth about the vitamins. She started crying, and as most dads know, it becomes real hard to play the mean-old daddy when the cutest five year-old in the world realizes she let you down and starts hanging her head with tears rolling down her cheeks. But, lucky for me, this wasn't my first rodeo and while I may be soft, I also know what the right thing to do is.
She apologized to me and her mother. She won't have any candy or TV for a few days (lucky for her I didn't lock up her Polly Pockets in the dungeon - but that is because I still have that soft side) and she is going to have to eat the vitamins she hid in our closet, after a good washing.
This episode made me think of how poor a father all us earthly dads really are. There really only is one dad who should ever feel righteous indignation, and that is our heavenly father. He is the one that is perfect. He is the one who is Love itself. He is the one who gives everything to us our hearts will ever desire - if we only truly love Him.
Still I sin.
Yet, He is the one that still loves us like this:
"The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. (Now) this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Beloved, if (our) hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us."God thank you for your love and forgiveness. Thank you for fuzzy gummy bears too. Amen.
1 John 3: 16-23