“STOP THAT! STOP BEING SO BAD!” she said as she smacked her child’s hand and grabbed him, continuing to pull him through the store aisle. He had been trying to grab a box of cereal from the shelf, like ALL kids do!
I must have seen that 5 times in my short grocery trip. Not one time did she stop what she was doing, look him in the eye and explain to him how she expected him to behave.
What a contrast with another Mom whose little girl did the exact same thing. The little girl grabbed something off the shelf, and with great poise and patience, her Mom put the package back on the shelf and stopped her cart. She knelt down and looked in her child’s eyes and said, “I know it’s so exciting to see things you like and it is tempting to grab them! But, when we shop I need you to keep your hands to yourself and be a good girl. Mommy loves you!” She ended with a hug and then they continued on her way.
That little girl held her head up high. She had been very gently reprimanded and she knew how much her Mommy loved her. By contrast the little boy who had been smacked and dragged through the store continued to grab things and never behaved properly. He pointed his eyes toward the floor and walked with a posture of anger and defeat.
Thankfully our God is like that second Mom! He is slow to anger and quick to forgive. He loves us and carefully and lovingly corrects us. He is patient and makes sure we know how much he cares for us. Imagine what life would be like if He were like that first Mom!
He wants us to be slow to anger and take time to process our circumstances before we act. I used to be much more of a “reactor” than a patient processor. With some time, usually the issue becomes much more manageable and seems less dramatic.
Let us all remember the great patience and love our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us despite our glaring imperfections! And, let us pass this same grace on to others.
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Psalm 103:8 NIV
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5 NASB