Our children are little angels... fallen angels! All kidding aside it is interesting that we don't have to teach our children how to lie. They figure that out on their own. Disobedience comes pretty natural too.
One recent pattern in one of our sons has been to respond to our commands or assignments with, "But Dad..." It's not just an occasional response, but has grown to be the typical response. It's a form of disobedience.
This pattern has taught me a thing or two about my own disobedience in light of the coming celebration of Resurrection Day.
I respond to Jesus in the same way. He calls me to serve Him in specific ways and my response is often to say, "But Jesus, I have a family, bills, work, etc." I make my excuses. I make my case. I disobey.
This form of disobedience exploded with the first sin. The story in Genesis 2-3 is about God creating man from the ground and placing him in a garden. The story ends with God pushing man out of the garden and man returning to the ground. In the middle is a story of God's abundance of love that moved Him to create us in the first place. The love between the Father, Son, & Spirit is perfect and in abundance. He brought all of creation and humanity into existence to share His love with us.
But there had to be a choice for us to experience that love. It's easy to say we love people or love God, but we only truly know how authentic our love for others or God is when we are faced with a choice. We can choose to love or we can choose selfishness. If we choose the former, we experience true love; with the latter we only get shame, blame, and pain. The authenticity of our love is experienced and exposed through our choices.
This is why Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15) This was not spoken in some manipulative tone or spirit, but as a statement of fact. Jesus even set the example in this truth. He did not merely say, "You are forgiven." He did not merely say, "I love you." He chose to go to the cross and die for our sins. His resurrection three days later declared victory over sin and death for any who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior. He did not have to do these things. He chose them.
If you are like me, you are a sinner. We all sin. To paraphrase David Platt: the magnitude of our sin is determined by the magnitude of the One we have sinned against. My excuses and disobedience is of infinite magnitude. My son's disobedience is a reflection of my own. As the Resurrection celebration approaches, we are reminded that victory is a gift and reality Jesus offers. We all need to stop hiding behind the excuse, "Everyone struggles with those things." Certainly the struggle is real and widespread, but the victory over it is real too. Through surrender and obedience, we can experience this