School is out, which means I am spending an inordinate amount of time with my children. “Inordinate” means “exceeding reasonable limits.” A perfect word.
But I enjoy my children, because they give me lots of sermon illustrations.
Children like to pick on each other, which is fine. But usually one kid will go over the line and become a jerk. When this happens, and they are called on it, their conscience is pricked. They know they took goofing around into being evil.
Rarely, upon being called on their behavior, does a child say, “Yes, you are right. I am sorry.” In fact, if any child did say this, they would probably all die from shock.
When people do bad things they have three main responses:
1) They blame something or someone else
2) They argue their case
3) They need the support of others
Blame is where it starts. “I didn’t hit her, her face hit my bat.” Blame is the simplest response, find a way to make the fault anyone but your own. This tactic goes back to Adam.
When blame does not work, they will begin to argue their case. They will begin by presenting evidence exonerating their behavior. “I didn’t mean to, the bat just flew out of my hands as it was slippery from the rain last night” I am told as the weather report is called up on the iPad.
Typically, as their case falls apart (which happens when you are guilty) they become angry and bitter and usually more jerkish.
When the judge rules against them, they feel a need to get others on their side. If you can get someone to side with you, your guilt diminishes a tad. The guilty kid will attempt to get the third child to join with them to be mad at dad and mad at the sensitive kid who got them in trouble.
Typically, the maddest child in the end is not the one who was initially smacked in the head with a bat, it’s the one who got in trouble. Amazing.
Sin leads to more sin. You can tell who the guilty sinners are by observing their behavior. If they are blaming others, being victims, demanding rights, yelling and arguing, constantly angry, and needing a group of people who do the same stuff surrounding them: you know they are guilty.
One of the ways I detect which of my children is at fault, is to listen to which one is getting angry and upset, which is the same one who will be blaming other stuff, and the same one who will be pointing out the faults in others.
Parenting tip: The loudest kid is the guilty kid.
This is why it irritates me when Christians get like this. We are to be meek, lowly, humble, and submissive. We know we are guilty in general, which is why we don’t wig out every time our guilt is shown. We humbly repent, apologize, and make things right if we can.
Paul tells the Corinthians that they should just suffer the wrong rather than act like a guilty sinner and argue and fight your case.
Following Christ means being judged as a sinner even when you are innocent just like He did. The more you argue your case, the more guilty you look, and the more disservice you do to the cause of Jesus Christ.
Oh for grace to actually do this. Following Christ is not easy.
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”