Making Mom Cry - Week of September 27th

By Judy Nichols

September 27, 2015

One of my children recently said that one of the worst things they ever heard from their father’s lips was, "You made your mom cry today." Somehow, to him, and hence to them, their grieving me to the point of tears was a terrible thing. I will admit to being one who cries easily; my husband is that way, too. But there is something to be said for knowing that something you did caused someone you love and who loves you to hurt very badly: Love is the best motivator of good behavior.

In Luke 22 we read the story of Jesus’ going to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray after the Last Supper. He knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from Me, yet not My will, but Yours be done" (v.42). The cup represented the wrath of God, justly poured out against all sin. Knowing this was about to happen to him caused Him great agony and he was praying fervently to the point of sweating blood (v.44). I have to wonder how much of Jesus’ grief was about what he was going to endure and how much was about the actual sins you and I have committed to deserve that wrath. I believe both were in play.

To know that my actions – and there have been plenty of them – caused Jesus such agony grieves me to the core. That I should do anything now to heap more agony and condemnation upon this One who loved my soul to the point of death is something that motivates my behavior on a regular basis.

Paul admonished the Ephesians (and us, too), "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). Since the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are of one essence, to grieve the Holy Spirit is to grieve the Father and Son, as well.

So I have to wonder about people, Christians in particular, who choose to do things that the Scripture clearly says are offensive to God. These things often are things that cause us and our families significant pain, as well – things like unforgiveness, bitterness, sexual sins, deceit, envy, addictions, even things like impatience, harshness, lack of love – the list could go on and on. Are we so deceived that we think human pain is the only pain involved in our misbehavior?

I realize that life can be hard, that sometimes a bad choice is better than a worse choice. I realize that a history of abuse or neglect or abandonment can leave us with a warped view of ourselves, others, and God. But we are still responsible for our actions. And as those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb of God and set free from the curse of sin, we, above all others, should be sensitive to the pain and grief that our sinful choices create, not only for ourselves and our families, but also for God.

I never want to hear from God’s lips, "You made My Son cry today." To add to the grief and pain of Jesus, as He sweat great drops of blood over my sin is, indeed, a terrible thing.

© Judy Nichols 2015

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