God’s Goodness and Our Response
About a month or so ago, I suddenly felt the urge to do something special for my four-year-old son. I was going to take him to Toys”R”Us to allow him to select a toy for himself. When I shared this news with him he responded with big, wide-eyes, an open mouth, and gave a little gasp. The word “excited” would be an understatement to describe how he felt. As we got ready to walk out of the door, he turned to me and asked, “Mommy are you taking me to Toys”R”Us because I’ve been really good?” Now, as much as I would love to tell you that my son was being rewarded for his angelic behavior that just wouldn’t be true. In fact, my husband and I had repeatedly been trying to instill in him that snatching toys and yelling at his younger sister (even though she initiates the conflict) is not okay. But, rather than burst his little bubble of self-perfection with those details, I simply told him No, I wasn’t taking him to Toys”R”Us because he had been so good, I was taking him simply because I love him and want to do something nice for him.
Just as those words left my lips, the scripture found in Romans 2:4 came to mind which states: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” This scripture came alive right before my eyes in that instant! It was true, my son had not been displaying the type of behavior that would warrant a trip to the toy store, but in spite of his behavior, I still wanted to do something nice for him that I knew he would like. This desire in my heart didn’t mean that I had forgotten about the behavior, nor was I excusing it- far from it, but in that moment in time my heart was moved to do it for him anyway, just because I love him.
This encounter gave me a better understanding of the heart of God and His goodness. He is so filled with love, grace, and mercy that even when we mess up royally, He still proceeds to bless us. These acts of love and mercy don’t excuse our behavior, and they surely don’t mean He supports it, but they reveal just how loving and gracious of a Father He is, and as Jeremiah 31:3 says, He draws us with loving kindness. As a result, when you and I realize that we are recipients of the generous kindness of God, that realization should lead us to a place of turning away from what we know breaks His heart and running into His loving arms.
Contrary to what some may believe about God, He is not waiting to unleash a barrage of judgment upon us at the slightest mistake we make. The Bible says He extends to us both mercy and grace, which means He doesn’t give us what we deserve and blesses us with what we haven’t earned. How awesome is our God?!
Share your experience. In what ways have you experienced the kindness of God in your life that has led you down the path of repentance?