The Privilege of Children

Psalms 103:1
The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to
those who fear Him (v.13).

Erik Hatzinger confessed to stealing money from
several businesses over many months. He seems
to be repentant, for when the judge ordered him to
pay $13,000 in restitution, Erik informed the judge that
he had stolen more and would like to pay it all back.
“That’s the son I raised,” his mother told a reporter.
“I’m not surprised he wanted to take responsibility for
what he’d done. He really wants to make amends.”
Leave it to a parent to find the silver lining in her convict
child. Others may have pointed out Erik’s crimes, but she
focused on the judge’s comment that her son is the most
repentant criminal he’d ever seen.

David, who committed a few crimes of his own, said
our God is a compassionate Father who “does not
punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with
us, as we deserve,” but “He remembers we are only
dust” (Psalm 103:10,14).

John Calvin explained that endless acceptance is the
special privilege of children. Slaves work hard to satisfy
their master, knowing they might be punished for doing
a poor job. “But children, who are more liberally and
kindly treated by their fathers, do not fear to present
to their fathers their rough and half-done works, and
even ones which have some faults, trusting that their
obedience and good will are acceptable to their father
even if they have not done what he wanted.”

We want to please our Father, but how comforting to know that our best is
enough—even when it’s not. If you suffer from the burden of perfectionism, if
you put off assignments for fear that they’ll never be good enough, remember
that you are God’s child. He might demand perfection from a slave, but all He
wants from you is love.

—Mike Wittmer

Read John 15:9 to learn other ways we differ from slaves. Check
out Romans 6:12 for one important way we are “slaves of God.”

What task or failure is weighing heavily on your heart? How might it help
you to remember that you are God’s child?