Personal Parable: Repentance

1) to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
2) to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
3) to change one’s mind

“Repent.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014.

An Interaction With My Son

This morning my son and I were involved in what you might call horseplay. He knows that I am ticklish and so he likes to tickle me. I, of course, am (for the time) much larger than my son and so usually turn the tables quickly and tickle him into submission. This continued until the playing became a bit too rambunctious; it was beginning to bother other members of the family. My son tends to take things too far, which I wanted to prevent.

Instead of demanding an end of the playing, I tried gently letting my son know that we were going to far. He continued the attack. I let him know that I was much larger and stronger, that he could not win this battle and so should submit. I let him know that the consequences of not yielding would be the ultimate tickle torture far beyond his comfort level and ability to cope. He persisted.

Being a man of my word, I chased him to his bedroom, held him down and tickled him until he pleaded for relief in desperation. I let him go and what happened next was no surprise to me; he has reacted similarly in the past. He became angry with me. He took a feeble swipe at me. It wasn’t a real attempt to harm me; he knows better. He also issued a verbal accusation / insult at me.

Looking up at my face, he knew that he had just “stepped over the line”. He retreated to his bed and covered his face yelling, “I’m sorry!” He knew what he’d done was wrong. His reaction in anger towards me, his father, was dishonoring and unbiblical. I reminded him of these things and told him that he should think about the words he’d said, about his reaction and why he reacted in such a manner. When he was ready to lay his anger aside, he was welcome to come out of his room.

He did come out after a while. I was sitting on the couch reading and he sat at the other end of couch, not daring to look at me. He kept his eyes downcast and covered himself with a blanket. “I’m sorry, Daddy.” (quietly)

“I know son, and I forgive you. I love you.” With that I pulled him over to me and wrapped my arm around him, holding him close to me.

“Do you know why I love you, son?” I asked. “No” he replied.

“Because you are my son. And do you know why I like you?” He shook his head no.

“Because you are so very much like me.”

Our Father in Heaven

Afterwards I thought how similar this encounter was to the way in which we interact with our heavenly Father. God tells us in His Word how we are to behave, what we should do and not do. (Matthew 22:34-40, Romans 12:1-2, James 1:22, Ephesians 4:17) It is very clear where “the line is” for God’s children. However, we often persist in disobedience. God reveals His holiness, His transcendent nature… God is BIG! He is able to overpower us without contest. Yet we persist in doing wrong. God’s Word tells us the consequence of our sin. (Romans 6:23, Isaiah 59:2)

Eventually, we reap the consequences of wrongdoing. It may seem fun for a time, until it is not. Sin often gives us pleasure, but it NEVER results in true happiness or joy. Similar to the way my son reacted, we often become angry with God and call Him names. “How could He allow this in our lives!? It’s not fair!” We retreat from God and attempt to cover our sinfulness. Sin leads to guilt and separation.

Our Father uncovers our sin and invites us to repentance and reconciliation. We must go to Him with a contrite heart and with humility, confessing our sin and asking forgiveness. When we do, the Father “is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) There is reconciliation both with the Father and the family of God.

Finally, God loves us more than we can fathom. We are His children (if indeed we are). I thought it would be presumptuous of me to indicate that it is good for my son to be like me. I am, after all, a wretched sinner. Then I thought how awesome it would be to hear my heavenly Father tell me that I am just like Him. We are called to “be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1) to “be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Are you playing with sin today? Are you comfortable with the ways of the world? If so, I would urge you to “make every effort to confirm your calling and election.” (2 Peter 1:10) That includes repenting of those sins in your life that you have allowed to grow until they are comfortable. Flee from sin and bow to the Father asking for forgiveness.

In Closing

My son does not read my blogs, however, many who read this blog are close to our family. I would ask of you not to reveal that I have blogged this encounter to my son. It would most likely embarrass him.

Finally, I should probably pray and ask God to reveal whether or not I have exasperated my son? (Ephesians 6:4) God bless, and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Compfight cc