“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” John 9: 1 – 3
For a long time, dare I say up until very recently, I used to think that God rewarded me for obedience and punished me for my disobedience. After all, it’s a common model perpetuated by my parents to which I became conditioned. It was the same model that the Jews believed in too, that if something bad had happened to someone, whether it be an illness or accident, it was because they or their parents had sinned – God had punished them.
Jesus saw the blind man as He walked by. His disciples wanted to know why this man was blind, was it because of his sin or his parents. Jesus’ answer was that it was neither, but that this was an opportunity for God to be glorified. Moreover, it was an opportunity for God’s love for man to be truly exposed.
You see, this man was a sinner, he was not even a believer in God. He didn’t even ask Jesus to heal Him and in many ways we could define him as undeserving of God’s help. But Jesus was willing to heal Him not because this man was obedient, but because He wanted to show people what His love is really about.
God had to send Jesus in order for us to really get to know God. We had already perpetuated untruths about God in relation to punishing people with sicknesses because of their sins. By Jesus’ example, we were able to really know who God is and dispel some of those myths.
So, how are my children going to know God if I perpetuate the same myths by punishing my child when they make mistakes. After all, am I not God’s representative on Earth for my child? Surely they will relate to God in the same way that they relate to me. If I’m an angry tyrant, who shouts and punishes them for the slightest mistake, surely they will view God the same way. They will also be afraid to try, fearing that they will fail and may be punished for it.
Even when our children make mistakes, sometimes we just need to give them another chance, even if they are undeserving, after all this is what God does for us, every day.
Thank You for showing us Your unconditional love. Please help us to teach our children about Your love through our own example. Help us to teach our children that there are consequences that happen to us because this is a sinful world but God does not wait around for us to make mistakes in order to punish us. Please help us to how grace, mercy to our children when they make mistakes. Help us to clearly explain the guidelines we have set for them so that when they make mistakes we can lovingly steer them back onto the right path and to give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes. We really want our children to know You and to be able to turn to You when they make mistakes.
Thank You Lord for being a safe place for us to succeed and to fail, please help us to be that safe place for our children too.
In Jesus’ Name