As a just starting to eat infant, parents introduce them to the baby spoon as they place small amounts of pureed food on it, allowing the infant to just experiment. The baby licks, tastes, grabs, sometimes bangs or throws it, but all in all spends time just figuring it out. As the baby grows and his/her skills improve, the body matures and physically develops, we graduate them from the baby spoon to the toddler spoon. As life continues to flash before our eyes, we are introducing the teaspoon and eventually an adult size spoon. Eventually, we teach them about how to set the table and where the “spoon” belongs and that spoons come in different shapes, sizes, with different purposes.
In the same way, as a new believer, we begin to taste what “grace” is like. As an infant in Christ, we have a new perspective on who we are and how we look at others. It’s as though we entered a whole new world and in reality we did. We began a new life the day that we accepted Christ. And day by day, moment by moment, we began to understand the grace that was given to us freely through the beautiful name of Jesus.
There comes a moment though, when after we have accepted Christ, we began to see that while we love God, there is still that inevitable, distasteful, uninvited guest called sin that can interrupt our day. Sometimes it is ourselves that fall short (Romans 3:23) and sin, but other times it is someone who sins against us. What do we do with that? My question to you today, “How’s your dipper?”
What I mean by, “How’s your dipper,” is this; when you sin against someone (whether intentional or non-intentional) and you recognize your sin and ask for their forgiveness. What do you expect? Them to forgive you. In your mind and heart, your prayer is that they see you as the flawed human being that you are, that you made a mistake and you want them to “dip” a scoop of forgiveness to you and put it in the dish of your heart and mind, so you can be at peace with man.
On the other hand, when someone commits a sin against us, how do we perceive them? In the same manner that we expect them to perceive us or do we box them and list in our mind and hearts all the evil intents that they had in their mind prior to harming us? When they come with a forgiving heart and ask, what “spoon” do you use for forgiveness? Do you reach the baby spoon and just dip it in some pureed forgiveness and give them tiny licks full? Do we reach for the toddler spoon or teaspoon and dip out that much forgiveness? Or do we go for the ice cream scoop or the big fat soup ladle and scoop out forgiveness?
I can’t help but think of the verse that says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2, 12)
If we go with our heart open wide and our mouth speaking, “Please forgive me, I was wrong,” and we expect that person to get out their biggest spoon and pour out forgiveness and grace, holding back nothing, but giving it all, how can we then reach for a teaspoon when someone comes to us? Just like if we had a big pot of soup and only shared a little so we could have a lot, before long the soup spoils and it stinks, when we reserve giving forgiveness and we hold it back, something happens in our heart, we start to become bitter and a grudge holder. It affects us more than it affects them.
Let us go out and be “big dippers of grace”, picking out the biggest spoon no matter how big or small the sin committed and just dousing forgiveness over it, knowing we are all flawed, we all have sinned, we all fall short, but just as Jesus came and set the example on the cross, we too can take up our cross and follow his example. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 24:34)