Just Checking

Summer holidays usually means having to think on our feet to entertain the little ones in our lives.

Since we no longer foster, my little one is a typical single child, needing entertainment when he runs out of things to entertain himself with.

And, because I like to be resourceful, I research, 'free-fun,' activities like drop-ins and summer schemes through local organisations and churches in my area.

Although, it is great that he gets to spend time with new faces, make new friends, be in a Christian environment for the most part and even see some known friends, I have come to realise that the leaders may operate with differing theologies than mine.  

I don't shy away from the - sin verses righteous living- that older churches use as their corner stones but as the discussions in our house have been focused on what he is doing outside the home, my ears have been pricked to a few thoughts that he has shared.

Thoughts that I have wanted to clear up and set straight with my child.

One such thing was about sin.

For days he talked about being a sinner and I realised one morning, that I didn't ask him to explain what he thought what sin was.  

After I did I was devastated at what I learned and I was so grateful that I checked with him.

Simply put, he thought that sin was about bad stuff happening to us.
I was anxious at him adopting this thought.

I flashed back to remembering my childhood when I didn't know what I was doing wrong to have certain things happen to me.

I remembered living under the cloud of feeling unworthy.
Unworthy of life.
And being unable to come to Jesus fully because I was a dirty sinner.

I felt like I deserved the crazy stuff because I thought, "If God saw me as good, then only good would happen to me, right?"

But as the years have passed.
As I have gained insight and experience in God and the cross.
I have came to know that, 'bad stuff,' is not what sin is.

Sin is not circumstances.
Or situations.

If someone has been mistreated by another it is not because they are sinners, it is because there are people in the world that hurt others.

Can you imagine telling human-traffick victims that it was their fault?
No way!

Anyone who has lived, will know that bad things happen.

But here was a child, that felt he had a grasp of what a Christian life was.
He felt he understood that if he is good then good things happen.
And to some extent that is true.

Good multiplies good.
But not everyone in the world has had the same start.
Not everyone operates within the same moral code.
Sometimes life is hard.

I envisioned his future.
That he would meet a challenge or a bad situation and feel that it is because God was angry and that he deserves it.

Good people get cancer.
Good people die in car accidents.
Good people don't pass that exam.
Good people sometimes don't have enough to pay all their bills.

Sin has became such a heavy word.
It's cloaked in fear, prejudice and misunderstanding.

Sin is living outside the design God has for your life but Him wanting you anyway.

When my child does something that makes me question when my parenting style failed, it doesn't remove the love.  

It doesn't make me want to punish my child.  
It makes me want to explain why that thing, action or mindset isn't helpful but harmful.
And how we can change to avoid it happening again.

That is sin.

Living in grace.
Knowing there is a design for your life.
Believing that God has desires for you just like you have for yourself.

And understanding that there is someone who knows the worst thing you have done and loves you anyway. 


It's love.

And if we do something wrong, it isn't over.
We may have to pay a price if its a crime.
We may have to make restitution if need be.
But it doesn't mean you're finished.

It's a mark in your story.
A call to better.
A moment to learn.
A memory to encourage down the road.

So please believe me, when bad stuff happens it isn't because you're bad.  
Its because you are alive.

And also, be encouraged to check with people.
Ask real questions.
Ask them to explain what they mean.

You may be able to free someone from living in bondage.
Or save a life from being taken.

Share your thoughts.
Share your experiences.
And have a discussion.
Just like our theological debate over toast and cereal.
Which I am happy that we had.

There is no harm in just checking.

If you would like to share your story or contact me please feel free to private message me on our Facebook page or on Instagram and while you are there you can give me a like or a follow for daily encouragements. You can also email me using theencouragerslife@gmail.com address. 

Be sure to check out our next article here on ‘The Encouragers Life.’

 Article written by J. Bingham

Copyright 2022


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