I got my name on the board once in all of my days in school. It was second grade, Mrs. Parker’s class, I was talking in line. I was actually telling the people around me to be quiet, but that didn’t matter, my name still went up on the board. We read in Genesis 4:6-7, Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” How do you react when someone suggests you’ve done something wrong? I can tell you from this second grade experience, I take it very personally, very quickly. I beat myself up over it more than the other person ever could. My mom used to say sometimes that she didn’t need to punish me because the punishment I was giving myself was more than she could give me.
It’s too bad Cain wasn’t the same way. He could have saved himself a lot of heartache, grief, and the loss of his very own brother. The Lord gave him the opportunity to do the right thing but instead he chose to do one of the worst possible things – murder his brother Abel. Cain was severely punished for this horrible sin and God punishes all of us appropriately for our sin, not out of vengeance but because He desires to correct us and restore fellowship with Him. Talking in line wasn’t the worst thing I could have done as a second grader, but I guarantee you, I learned my lesson instantaneously. As humans we are all going to make mistakes, we are going to fall down, we are going to sin, but instead of staying down, we are to go to our Lord, confess our sins, and restore our relationship with the Lord. Friends, we have freedom and redemption in Christ. Can I get a Praise the Lord?
Forgiving Father, You know our every thought, action, and desire. You know what we are going to do before we do. Help us to come to You with open hearts, expressing our sinful ways and seeking Your forgiveness. Remind us of Your loving arms reaching out to us, and to run to You and lay all our concerns before You. We thank you for Your unconditional love. Amen.