OK, Hump Day Readers, this devotion is a chuckle and a reminder of our own upbringing! Someone sent me this cute story and I just had to make it into a devotion because it is so true for all of us, especially those who may be experiencing “hair-color-changes!” Here goes:
A little girl was sitting and watching her mother do dishes one day, and she suddenly noticed her mom had several strands of white hair. She took a closer look, and her mother noticed the girl had a perplexed look on her face so she asked “What is it, sweetie?” Her daughter replied, “Well, Mom I noticed something different about your hair. Like, it has some new colors, like white. Why do you have white hairs coming out of your head?” (Precocious kid!)
Some mothers may take this as criticism, but this mom laughed like crazy and said, “Well, let me tell you why. You see, every time you do something wrong or disobey, one of my hairs turns white.” Her daughter caught the answer but she was quick with a rebuttal that said, “Hmmm, so how come ALL of Grandma’s hairs are white then?” (Precocious or just a brat?!)
I laughed at the story but it reminded me of my kid-days where I’m sure both my parents’ hairs were easily turning gray if not white! One thing I always remember, however, is that they never held my indiscretions over my head. Oh yes, if I did something wrong, it was a time-out or some loss of privilege, the worse being grounded-ugh. But their wisdom of helping me realize that there are consequences for bad behavior helped shape my life and kept me on the path that God had for me.
However, my dad’s mom was another issue. She would tally wrongs on everyone—hold them over your head, and she was even cruel enough to say “God will get you for this.” As a kid, I wasn’t intimidated by her which drove her crazy. She would stand there with her hands on her hips with a growl on her face and say something really nasty and threatening. Most of the time I would look right into her eyes and turn around and walk away. Other times, to be honest, my answer would be “why are you so rude?”—that never went over very well. But she would throw the “ugly-God-will-get-you” right into your face and it made me mad and sad at the same time.
Sadly, there are still many people like my grandmother who think God has an ongoing tally of their wrongs and it gives them power to do the same thing to others. It is nasty, rude, and honestly, they have few friends and I often wonder if God is their friend at all?!
This all comes back to grace doesn’t it. People may make their “piles of wrong-doing” and their “check-lists” for retaliation but God doesn’t do this—ever. That’s the wonderful thing about God’s grace—it means no wrong is ever counted against us. Unless you are mentally deranged, I think most folks really don’t want to make mistakes, and they try to avoid those screw-ups. Yet we do stuff we shouldn’t and God’s grace covers us. Does it take away the consequences? No and let’s face it, if it did, we would make grace a cheap commodity—like another story below…read on.
The other day I had 4 young gals coming to camp for the weekend. I was quite surprised that they were young because they had a Senior Lifetime Pass which gives a 50% discount. I asked the driver for her first and last name; as I figured, it was not the name on the pass or reservation. She said “Oh, my grandmother made this reservation for us, it’s her pass. “OK, where is she, since she has to be one of the group.” The gal just stared at me so I said “I take it your grandmother doesn’t know anything about this, right? Sorry, you will have to pay the difference.”
They were mad so I gently reminded them that what they did was illegal and I could turn them in instead. They answered “well, we tried.” I had to ask them to leave, they laughed, flipped me off and left. I could only think of their future with this kind of attitude and that is why I called the grandmother, which I am supposed to do to let her know of the fraud. She sighed and said “my granddaughter is turning my hair white.” Hmmm, that seems to happen a lot doesn’t it!
These gals were like so many folks today who find a way to game the system to their own selfish needs and in turn, they hold other’s mistakes in their “tally.” In 1 John 3:5-7 [Voice] we find this reminder: “You realize that He came to eradicate sins, that there is not the slightest bit of sin in Him. The ones who live in an intimate relationship with Him do not persist in sin, but anyone who persists in sin has not seen and does not know the real Jesus. Children, don’t let anyone pull one over on you. The one doing the right thing is just imitating Jesus, the Righteous One.”
So, the next time you make a mistake, remember that because you’re in Christ, your sins are covered and will never be held against you and in turn, you shouldn’t tally anyone else for their sins. Instead, remember the God who loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for our sins and make us whole—white hairs or not! Now can I get an AMEN?!