As it’s Easter Sunday, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Jesus today. And as I was tiredly cleaning a refrigerator spill and trying to get my kids a quick dinner, something that occurred to me is that Jesus owned our mistakes and our garbage. In every way possible, He took our burden and made it His. He not only took our ugliness, our yuck, our sickness, and our sin upon Himself, but He paid the ultimate price for our mistakes. We talk about this on Easter and we make movies and write stories that show examples of this, but do we truly realize how good and perfect Jesus is? Do we get how ugly sin and death are? Do we see how unworthy we were for Him to humbly place our sin upon Himself? It’s mind boggling. How often do we own someone else’s junk? How often do we own our own junk? Do I actually tell myself the truth and listen? Or do I just grab on to what makes me feel good about myself?
There have been some areas of my life that I’ve been hugely frustrated with, and I’ve prayed and asked God to help me with these particular situations. I’ve asked Him to provide where there’s lack, to give me wisdom on how to handle them, and in desperate times, I’ve asked for His divine intervention. Yet it just dawned on me that I have been ignoring the part that I have to play in the whole thing. And even though the answers have been in the Word all along, He answered again and again through various messages until I finally realized that I have to make effort if I want to see these situations change. Once I saw the truth about myself and my responsibility in these things, then I started to notice in everything (and in my children especially) where we tend to hold people to a standard that we ourselves don’t actually keep. One of my boys is constantly pointing out when his brother does something wrong, yet he never owns up to his own wrongdoing. I’m constantly reminding him that God holds him accountable for his actions, not his brother’s actions. And then it hit me that the same goes for me. Here I’ve been wanting others to treat me in a certain way, and when I’ve felt to treat them in the way I should, I’ve expected them to give me grace because of this or that. Yet I haven’t done the same for them. Even in my parenting, I shout at my children to stop shouting, and then I wonder why they don’t stop . . . So why have I been frustrated? Why do we think it’s okay to expect things from people when we’re not willing to do those things ourselves?
And I realize that walking the walk and talking the talk are actually easier said than done, so as I write this, I know that my true test this week will be to actually put into action the things that I’m typing right now. Yet I also recognize that my heart has been longing for trueness (if that’s even a word). There’s something so simple, so freeing, so wonderful when you realize that God holds you responsible for you. It is not my job to control others, even my children. I don’t get to decide how someone will treat me or if my child will make a good choice. I only get the choice to honor others and know that I can choose wisely. I get the choice to be kind, to be patient, to be a friend, to speak truth in love, and to walk in a way that blesses my Father. I get to do that even when others choose (and reap) otherwise. It frees me from the stress and the worry of what they might think, what they might say, or what they might do. It frees me to live for an audience of One, and I love that. It takes the pressure off and just allows me to live the best life that I can. I love the freedom and joy that is in that. If I can manage to live it out and have my children see the example of me doing so, then I think I will have taught them a life skill that is more important than most others.