When parenting young children, I very much bought into the idea that children behave when they can and if they can’t then they do not know how. (Dr. Ross Green) As a parenting couch being a hat I wore at work, I would gently point it out to parents when they claim that their child was misbehaving for manipulative purposes. No, actually generally kids do not try to manipulate adults, they want to please them. Likely, if you think a kid is being manipulative it is just their way of asking for help in the way the that they know how.
I think the same holds true as adult children of God. I like to think the best in people. I believe deep down in everyone’s core we actually all want to please God. Since we are to be like children to God, I think he could very much see us as just needing help to find our way, THE WAY.
This seems to give way to a much more merciful viewpoint of any slight that may be committed against us. We know not what we do or seemingly sometimes how to fix it. So we need something or someone to direct us. There is no shame in loving our neighbor by trying to help. That is not jeer in helping the helpless, we are all helpless in some way. We are far from no direction. The Bible gives excellent direction. The Holy Spirit is there. Jesus is an example. Mary knows each saint. Priests go to school for many years so that they can be an expert in their field to give wonderful spiritual direction. We are surrounded by help. So why are all our problems not solved?
So what about the times when we as God’s children, we know better, we know how to fix the problem, we know why it is a problem, and still we can not get above whatever is dragging us down again and again? I think it is because at the root of what is going wrong we also believe something is going right. There is motivation to stay just as we are because there is some benefit to staying that way. Maybe it is to much work to tackle the holiness we desire. Maybe it means we have to give up people, places, things in order to better serve the Lord. Maybe our honor would be less in someone’s eyes. Maybe, knowing ourself, we think we will sin less if we just sin in this one way. Whatever our reason for coming back to the same mistakes, there is a benefit. Is that benefit greater than our love for God? Even if that is the case, HIS love endures forever.