Law and Grace
I have been reading through the Bible with an app called Read Scripture(sidenote: I love this app and highly recommend it). I am currently in Leviticus and I keep thinking how hard it would have been to ever live a pure life in this world. There were so many laws and rules that I am sure I would have broken many daily simply for the fact that I would not have remembered them all.
Today it hit me as I was reading and I had been praying for clarity in a situation, how incredibly grateful I am for JESUS! Because of Jesus, we no longer have to live in a constant state of worry and anxiety of what law we will break today. Jesus went to the cross with the weight of all of our sins so that we can live a life focused on love and grace. I believe that Jesus allows us to focus more on loving God and building a relationship with Him based on that love instead of focusing on the law and how to keep it. Jesus wants us to extend His love to those around us.
We live in such a fallen world with sin, destruction and hurt all around us. Without Jesus, I would be so worried about how to stay pure that I would not be able to focus on loving others. Because the fact is that I mess up and I do things that I shouldn't all the time but Jesus took those sins to cross with Him therefore I can LIVE a life focused on Him and loving those around me the way He commands us to.
So when I am teaching my kids, I try to focus on the relationship and their hearts more than I focus on the action or rule breaking. Granted I know that rules are good don't get me wrong. But when my kids break the rule, I try to remember that it's not about the rule, it's about them. For example, when I do something stupid, because of my relationship with Jesus, I feel horrible afterwards. He brings awareness to that sin and I go to Him asking for forgiveness and then I move forward knowing that I am forgiven and loved allowing me to focus on Jesus and not the mistake. The focus that is on Jesus drives me to do the things that he asks and leads me to. If my focus were to stay on my mistake, regret and shame then I would continue to move towards that and I would continue to let myself down. So when I am disciplining or setting goals for my kids, if their hearts are focused on God and not on their own selfish ambitions, then I extend a lot of grace towards the rule breaking. If their focus is not in the right place, then I usually have stronger consequences and then I hit my knees praying that God will change their focus.
Today, I am grateful for JESUS and what He did! I am choosing to focus on my relationship with Him! I am choosing to LOVE others because of that! I am choosing to pray for those that don't have that relationship because without it, the fear and anxiety of always living according to the law and rules is overwhelming. I also recognize that without the relationship with Jesus, I can't expect people to make decisions the same way I do. People will let us down and that is ok, it is how I react to the let down is what matters. I choose to love unconditionally and to continue to seek Him! The rest is up to God and each individuals choice to follow Jesus or not.