I’ve been in need of some correction lately. Mostly sinful attitudes and even some negative behavior. Funny thing is, the Holy Spirit that resides inside me points this out, and still I continue on the wrong path.
I walk around waiting for the other shoe to fall, feel the weight of my guilt, and wonder when and how God will choose to deal with me. I feel the distance from Him, that my sin has created, and I want it to disappear. I know how it must be, but still I do nothing.
And then softly, when I’m not in the moment, when I am calm and not feeling overly emotional, He comes to me. He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, for his goal is not immediate time, but the right time. He whispers to me, “Lisa, you don’t have to go that way.” And when I hear His voice, His beautiful love-filled voice, I don’t want to go that way, I want to go with Him. If I were to be honest, this isn’t always the end, sometimes I remain stuck where I am.
He isn’t waiting for me to be perfect. He is using me in the midst of my issues. Issues, such a lovely non-accountable way to say sin. Wrongness. Even here and now, He takes me lovingly by the hand and pulls me behind Him. I need that. Sometimes, most times, I can walk along, but lately I need Him to pull me.
It’s never a hard pull, never with a jerk. Always gentle and kind. And as God is correcting and shaping me, He is teaching me as well.
You see, I have these children. They need correction. They too have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them, and they know they are wrong. They fear the repercussions. They await and dread what is to come.
But what if I respond like Him? Softly, gently. “Don’t go that way,” I can say. “Come with me, follow me.” Would my guidance be received?
Shall I rise up with a loud voice and a threatening tone in the middle of disrespect and emotional times and force my wisdom? After all, I am right, I know better, and my intention is only for my child to behave in a manner pleasing to God.
Or should I wait till the tidal wave passes and whisper, “I love you. We are going this way. I know right now it’s difficult for you to see the way, so I’m going to take your hand and show you how we can do this.”
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” Galations 6:1 NIV
And even when I am patient and loving, and take the hand of my child, sometimes there is still no repentance or turning from bad behavior. This is a time for more patience. I go back again, in love. Sometimes I must go back yet again.
Shall I withhold good from him until he is perfect? Or shall I continue to lavish him with love, and gently guide? “What Would Jesus Do” the catch phrase of the age, but so full of truth. How does Jesus deal with you? How will you deal with others?
I have been a mother for over 21 years. I’m still learning. Perhaps my greatest lesson this year is to deal with sin as God does. Gently, with love and kindness. To deal with everything as God does would be an even better more applicable lessen. But I am still learning, and when I fail at this, as I often do, He takes my hand and gently says,