My daughter Justus is only two and a half years old. She is old enough to know when she wants something she is not suppose to have to weigh the consequences of what will happen if she were to have it. Today, she weighed the consequences right before my eyes. I told her not to drink my coffee. She thought about it for a nanosecond, grab the cup of coffee and took a swig. Not only did she gulp down her first bit of coffee in disgust, she looked at me and began to cry out in sorrow. She didn’t have to say, “I’m sorry daddy.” I knew she was sorry. She knew she disobeyed and she immediately had sorrow over it.
To many people Justus’ disobedience might seems like something small and insignificant or her response was overly sensitive. Yet God taught me a lesson in her response. I want to be sorry like that. I want to have immediate sorrow over my disobedience. Like my daughter, I too commit sin openly and shamefully despite the consequences, but in my pride I am not immediately sorrowful.
Too often, I am on the other end of the disobedience spectrum. I hide my sin and enjoy it in secret without thinking about the consequences of being caught. When caught, I want to respond like David,
Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”
Sin is serious. It offends a holy God. Since it offends God He has to do something about it. Sin has consequences that are immediate and/or delayed. I want a heart that sees sin as God sees it and is soft enough to respond immediately rather than delay my confession.
When we confess our sin, God covers us with His mercy. Proverbs 28:13-14 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 14 Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” In other words, what I cover up He uncovers, but what I uncover He covers with His mercy. Isn’t that a bold, yet beautiful picture of God.
After Justus downed my dark brew and bust out into tears, I couldn’t help but comfort her. I learned this from God. He shows mercy to the brokenhearted (cf. Psalm 51:17). His mercy restores. I want to be like that too.
* Coffee picture taken by friend Anne Rock.