I've recently started looking after my cutie pie nephews in the morning before they go to school. We hang out, have breakfast together, pray, read the Bible and do loads of activities, before walking to their school a short walk away. Most mornings we have a beautiful time and I don't have to tell them off for diddely squat. But then there are other days when things get a little bit crazy because they have no idea where their school bag is, or they haven't done their homework. Haven't brushed their teeth, or washed their face. My little checklist helps of course, but on certain mornings the anointing upon my checklist somehow eludes my precious nephews!
So a few days ago, the youngest has no idea where his tie was. I'm very annoyed with Him and insisted that as soon as he gets home from school that day he had better find that darn tie and have it ready for school the following morning. Very late that night I find his tie at the bottom of the stairs in the foyer. In the morning I text his mum (they all live on the first floor) and tell her his tie is on the stairs. It's obvious that even though he may have looked for his tie the night before he clearly hasn't found it. I wonder if he is at all concerned and shake my head smiling. The following morning he charges into my bedroom grinning from ear to ear as if he has done something very praiseworthy. He grins broadly and says look what I've got. He's very proud of himself for "locating" his tie and being ready in his full uniform just as we had agreed.
I smiled knowing a little better and told him he looked super handsome. I giggled and said...hmmm that isn't possibly the tie you found on the stairs is it??? He's oblivious to it all because he's just happy he's been able to do the right thing and get praised for it! He obviously has no idea that I'm the one who found the tie, or that it's his mum who went and got it for him. All he can see is that he's been able to do something right and that makes him feel good. Now if I was looking for a particular lesson in that I could go into the ins and outs of it all with him. I could ask him why he didn't look for it properly the night before. Why was it me who had to find it for him? Why did his mum have to go and get it? Why did he pretend like he had it all along? Why didn't he say that his mum had just given him the tie. If she hadn't have then he would have got in trouble. Why was he getting away with looking like the good guy?
Because I wanted him to. I wanted him to win. I wanted him to get it right. I wanted him to get a helping hand if it meant he rejoiced in doing what was good. I wanted him to feel like he was winning. I didn't care about the role I had to play or how much help we gave him. I just wanted him to win. Pulling him up on the other stuff wasn't even a thing, focusing on his shortcomings wasn't the goal. The goal was magnifying the good and doing whatever we could to make him want to do the right thing...and loving it when it happened. Cause that's what God does with us right?
Even with the impurities of our heart, our shortcomings, our unfaithfulness, God always pours out such grace and mercy upon us...helping us when we might get off track...when we might fall short on our end of the agreement...and rejoicing whenever we partner with righteousness...always desiring for us to love integrity. Always lavishing us with such affirmation whenever we do what's right...even when we may not deserve the credit...even when still get it wrong.
"You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action]." Hebrews 1:9a (AMPC)