Forgiveness, Confidence and Love
Joey & Carla Link
April 10, 2019
It took 24 men working 24 straight hours with Thomas Edison to create one of his crazy ideas we are grateful to have today, the lightbulb. When Edison created his first lightbulb, he gave it to a young helper who nervously carried it up some stairs to be lit. Each step he took he cautiously watched his hands, frightened of dropping this delicate new creation. As he reached the top of thestairs he dropped the bulb. OH NO! As a parent, you have likely entrusted a special treasure to a child who wasn’t as careful as he could have been and he broke your prized possession.
It took all 24 men another 24 hours to make another bulb. With the new bulb finished, Thomas Edison did the unthinkable; he gave it to the young lad again to carry it up the stairs. Most of us would not trust it to this lad again, but Thomas Edison, who had failed over 1000 times at successfully creating a lightbulb, knew what failure was, and in wanting to teach his young prodigy a confidence lesson, he forgave him for breaking the first bulb and turned and asked him to carry this one up the stairs. He did so successfully.
Forgiveness is a difficult thing to do!
Jesus was in a similar situation in John 13, only he knew Judas would betray him, yet when Judas came through the door, Jesus knelt to wash his feet.
- How trusting and kind are your kids with someone that has hurt them after that person has genuinely apologized?
- How trusting and kind are you with your kids after they have failed you?
Every child is going to disappoint and embarrass their parent at one time or another. How do you respond to them when they embarrass you and you know they know better? When they disappoint you at home? In public?
These are key moments for the development of your child’s confidence. When you respond positively you are giving them hope for the future which strengthens their emotional and spiritual core.
Jesus tried doing the same thing with his disciples in John 13 when Judas was preparing to betray Him, turning him over to be killed. After Judas left, Jesus gave his disciples a very powerful teaching that is for us as well. He said,
“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”
Personally I think the disciples missed the point of what Jesus was saying as they started asking about where Jesus was going. He was telling them to love each in a way their peers would never understand. He gave them an example of this when He washed Judas’ feet even though He knew Judas would betray Him. Washing feet was a servant’s job. There was no such thing as paved roads and everyone wore sandals. Their feet were filthy. Yet Jesus knelt at the feet of this man, showing true power lies in being humble.
This a powerful teaching to share with your kids, that you love them and you can forgive and trust them over and over and over again.
Yes, we believe trust must be earned, and I am sure Thomas Edison’s helper had that kind of attitude after he dropped the first bulb or else Edison would not have given him a second chance.
When your kids apologize after choosing to do something wrong, can you see in them a remorseful heart? How do you know if their heart is remorseful? They will truly try to do what they can to restore the relationship and make right their wrong with a good attitude.
Jesus realized He had lost one disciple but He still had eleven more! Mom and Dad, your kids may fail you, but there were probably obedient eleven times to that one. Encourage them with that and then give them the challenge like Jesus gave His disciples, to try again.
I think Jesus was challenging his disciples to still go and love Judas when they saw him, and to love each other when they failed.
How well have your kids learned to:
- Love siblings, friends and other adults who fail or disappoint them?
- Are they quick to forgive them and look past their faults even when they have been hurt by them?
- Do your kids truly know how to love others who don’t deserve it so that people will know they are a follower of Christ?
- Are your kids pursuing following Christ by following Jesus’ command to “love each other” by showing others they are important to them?
“Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”