I love this clip of a basketball team showing kindness to another team because it teaches an important lesson about mercy. A private school team regularly played against a team from a detention center. The detention center team never had people to cheer them on so some members of the team convinced half the crowd to cheer for the opposing team. It was a memorable event for all involved.
Parenting is all about training children to be kind, productive, and successful. It is easy to concentrate on behavior and the application of reward and punishment. We naturally want to discourage poor behaviors and encourage positive ones.
Yet, that is only half the picture. It is easy to argue that the team from the detention center did not deserve to be cheered – they have each been convicted of a felony offense! But, did you notice the effect the fan support had on the team members? It was memorable and touching.
As children of God we receive mercy from our Heavenly Father. We are poor miserable sinners and do not deserve any of the blessings in our lives. God shows us mercy in that He sent His Son to die for us in spite of, and because of, our sin.
God loves us anyway.
Make sure your children know they are loved – especially when they have sinned.
Mercy and forgiveness are the other half of the loving discipline equation.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:4-8