When our three daughters were young children, we were fairly strict with disciplining. We didn’t mess with ‘time-out’ nonsense or banishing children to their rooms, we simply corrected them when they were caught doing something wrong. And we were fairly clear on what good behavior was and what was wrong. They knew right from wrong. And they knew that both mom and dad were boss. If one daughter was misbehaving, all Ted had to do was say their name. “Kristen!” Ted would say in a firm voice, and said daughter would dissolve into tears aware of her indiscretion.
A few days ago at work, we had a little problem. Any patient that is a diabetic gets their blood sugar checked by one of the nurses. It is not safe to operate on someone with an extremely low or extremely high blood sugar. A high blood sugar level is especially contraindicated because it can cause delays in healing and higher risks for infection. Normal blood sugar levels are around 70-100. We had a sweet patient come in one morning for cataract surgery. Being a diabetic, we checked her blood sugar. It was 475. Red flags went up in all our little nurse heads and we quickly alerted our anesthetist and gave the doctor a phone call. The head nurse addressed the patient and in a firm and concerned voice told her that we were very concerned for her. “Your blood sugar is way too high. We don’t know if the doctor will do your surgery today. Are you under a doctor’s care for you diabetes? When was the last time you took your medicine or gave yourself some insulin? Do you feel alright?” The poor patient was overwhelmed and dissolved into tears. Sobbing she replied, “I knew I shouldn’t have eaten two strawberry shortcakes last night but they were so good. I couldn’t help myself. I’m so sorry.” And she cried. Busted! The poor woman knew she had done wrong by eating too much of what she should not have had the night before. Her remorse at her ‘sin’ was evident in the grief she showed.
When our daughters did something wrong, we forgave them, tears were dried, and life went on. Our dear diabetic patient got sympathy from the nurses as we gave her insulin to bring her sugar down so she could have her surgery. Then we helped guide her to follow up with her doctor and seek diabetes diet classes so she could better manage her disease.
It made me think.
When we bow our heads and ask for forgiveness from our heavenly Father for things we have done wrong, are we truly remorseful? Imagine if God himself stood before us as we sinned and just looked at us and said our name. Would we dissolve into tears like a small child, completely saddened and humiliated at how we have disappointed our Father? Or if God happened to check up on us and found things a little off, would we tearfully confess everything we’d done wrong and sob in grief? When we say the confession part of prayers during Sunday church, it seems so easy to recite the words and find our sin slates wiped clean. I think next time I want to really think about what wrongs I’ve committed. After all God is just trying to discipline me and teach me right from wrong. I will never learn to stop sinning unless my sins make me truly sad.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.