“I did it on accident.” I hear those words several times a week from seven and eight year olds caught in the act. Sometimes it’s true and then other times…hmmm…can you really pound your fist down on a ketchup packet and squirt it across the lunch table “on accident”?
Making excuses is not the exclusive habit of the young; I am prone to do the same. I may not claim every mistake as being “on accident”, but if I am honest I know that I do not live as purposefully as I should. My day may with begin good intentions to follow God’s call and be a blessing to others, but sometimes I deviate from the plan. A thoughtless comment or an unforeseen interruption to my perfectly planned schedule suddenly annoys me to the point of distraction and disappointment and I begin thinking, “How could they do-say-think-or expect that of me? In a matter of moments I have reacted in a way that is contrary to my day’s initial intention.
But soon the Holy Spirit gently reminds me “Love is patient and kind…Love keeps no record of wrongs“. There may be no real excuse for bad behavior, but I am still called to release whatever frustration I feel and refuse to keep score. As God meets me with undeserved mercy so must I meet the challenges of the day not allowing what others say or do be an excuse for my unloving reaction.
Not one of us is guaranteed a certain amount of time on this earth and while I am here I want to live intentionally. I don’t want my life’s legacy to be a series of unloving behaviors “on accident”, but instead be one of love and forgiveness “on purpose.”
Lord, Jesus, thank-you for Your loving mercy. Help me to live intentionally each day seeking Your will for my life, following Your example of love and forgiveness.