Charis: grace, kindness; grace as a gift or blessing
This morning I read Romans 2 where it talks mostly about not using the law to judge others, but rather to realize the law is there to show you yourself. That the law is already on the hearts of men. And then I noticed that it wasn't the law that lead to repentance. We don't come to God simply because we realize we don't measure up. It says His Kindness leads us to Repentance.
At the beginning of school, or anytime at school really, I spend a good portion of my time (it feels like) correcting or redirecting behavior. And hoping for a change. When it doesn't change, the child and I call the parents. I have lots of one on one conversations. I take away 'champs bucks'. In hopes of repentance and changed behavior. Not to say that it doesn't work, usually it does. But. That verse got me thinking.
How does God correct me when I don't follow His direction? And if I am trying to be like Christ, shouldn't I follow his example with my students and my own child? And how many times in one day do I make the same mistake over and over and over? And how many times does he simply forgive and forgive and forgive each of those continuous mistakes?
Christ uses his kindness to lead me to repentance and to help me change my behavior. He has never once said do it yourself. He practically carries me through most of it, because I'm the weakest of the weak. I have a hard, hard time changing my behavior and becoming more Christ-like.
Never once has he gotten frustrated. Never once has he shown great disapproval. Never once have I been shamed or openly embarrassed. Never once have I gotten a lecture. Never once have I been informed that he brought me into this world and he can take me out. (haha- Cosby) Never once has he said anything about how I better learn to be respectful. I mean insert typical child discipline line here. He doesn't handle me that way at all. All the negative emotions I experience are from myself because I hate the thought of being anything He is not.
And why do I want more than anything to be exactly like Him? Because He laid down his life for me, knowing full well, I was a sinful mess and would probably be a sinful mess for many many years. He covered me and he kindly, gently says "No, Ashley. Not that way. Turn. Just a little bit more...."
It reminds me of that old hymn Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling... That's the sound of his voice of correction. And it leads to repentance.
And so given my example of everything I strive to be, I wonder:
How would Christ discipline a child?
I don't know what the specific answer it, but I know how he disciplines me. And I guess I just am wondering perhaps in those moments where my special friends are being just a little bit more trying than usual, what would happen if I kept thinking to myself kindness leads to repentance. No I don't want to compromise adult respect per se. But it wasn't respect that lead to repentance- it was kindness-kindness! I want to figure out how to do that.