By Dr. Carla C. Stanford
I am the mother of three wonderful boys, two of whom are grown but still that one precious late-in-life child still home. I am reminded daily when house cleaning that we humans are by nature — let’s face it — dirty.
My youngest, Ryne, often has friends around the house and they are a lively bunch, much to my delight. Then to my despair, there’s the dirt; easy to see on the floors, on the carpet, on the table, on the boys themselves. They are going about their business and the dirt seems to jump on them like a pin to a magnet.
The dirt is easy to see in these instances, but what about our “dirt”? Can you walk down the street and see a person’s sin? Not usually. Often we misjudge and only God knows the heart of every human; yet another reason for humans not needing to judge others in the first place. “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). If we would remember not to judge others, that we would not be judged (Matthew 7:1), it would be a kinder, more Christ-like world. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it is.
When I really think upon it, I don’t see how God puts up with us. We all have our earthly downfalls and hard as we may try, we cannot loose ourselves from the trappings of sin. We tell ourselves and Godwe will do better, but it is a tough row to hoe. For some, the dirt might be on the surface and easier to see, like the Mississippi dirt on the boys who frequent my home. For others, the dirt is way down deep and only God can see it. The best we can do is lean upon our Heavenly Father for grace, wisdom, and strength to grow closer to Him daily.
The word “sin” (or a form of the word) appears in the Bible 561 times, while the word “love” (or a form of the word) appears 610 times, which tells me that while God does acknowledge sin, love is far more important to Him. I am so thankful that such a perfect and merciful God loves me, even though I am covered with earthly “dirt.” Glory to God!
Stanford is a nationally certified family life educator and a member of New Albany First United Methodist Church.