Do you see God as always angry, ready to beat you with his “rod of judgment” if you fall short? Or do you view him as a loving father who forgives you but is never quite satisfied with your performance?
Psalms 25 says, “Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.” God doesn’t look for reasons to punish us and he prefers not to use harshness and anger. Such an approach motivates obedience through fear, and produces discouragement and often bitterness.
Instead, 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient and kind … It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged … Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” God wants to live in relationship with us, patiently teaching us and leading us. He sees the good, the potential for greatness he has placed in us. He believes in us, cheers us on, and loves us unconditionally. When we stumble and sin, he gently takes us by the hand, forgives us, and walks with us as we try again. With his affirmation and love, we gain confidence and courage to do more and go farther for his glory than we ever dreamed possible.
But for this to happen, we need a relationship with him through his Son, Jesus Christ. When we come to him in repentance, turning our backs on our sins and submitting our lives and hearts to him, he will cleanse us from those sins and give us true peace and satisfaction. We can then walk daily with him in the light of his affirming, encouraging love.
PRAYER: Dear God, I want you to be my heavenly Father, to guide me into the life you alone can give. Please forgive me for my sins through your Son Jesus and make me your child. AMEN.