Bites. Temper Tantrums. Forgiveness.
My Tuesdays are full of babies, toddlers, and just about anything you could think of that comes along with spending time with crazy children.
When you don’t have class during the day, you babysit. When you babysit, sometimes kids bite you. Wait, what! Honestly, in my 10+ years of babysitting and helping raise my little sister, I can’t recall a time I’ve been outrightly bitten. The best part about it was that he wasn’t upset. Thomas was giggling and having the time of his life and then all of a sudden I have a welt on my shoulder, how does that happen!?
Later that day I was greeted with sass and temper. I haven’t experienced a Bernstein bears at the store temper tantrum since who knows when. But this one, was quite outrageous. Thankfully it ended with quite the apology, “I’m sorry Avvy, not again.”
This all makes me think of forgiveness. Yesterday at the Christian Educators Association meeting we talked about loving our students (& all people) in a Christlike manner. We discussed John 13:34-35 and William Barclay’s description of Jesus’ love as understanding, sacrificial, selfless, and forgiving.
So what does it look like to love someone forgivingly? I’m learning more about this everyday, but I can say loving Alexis through her temper tantrum brought perspective.
First off, to love someone when they are screaming and yelling at you is…yeah. But to calmly talk through these situations and sense a sincere apology is healing. What happens when there is no sincerity, nor even an apology? I believe that is where we need God’s grace to cover us; a solid foundation to hold onto. That is when I see how God has forgiven me and will each day, and so I can now forgive because I know His forgiveness.
Whether it is something as small (relatively speaking) as bites and temper tantrums, God always seems to speak. It’s tangible and real. It can be difficult, but His goodness is more than just a pattern. Forgiveness is not weak, but it is healing and it is necessary.