Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Jekyl and Hyde in All of Us

My daughter is amazingly sweet, and amazingly selfish. And she is a faithful fan of Tinker Bell. So yesterday evening she, her mother, and I gathered on the sofa to watch the newest Tinker Bell adventure released the same day. I had bought some Raisinettes for her and my wife to enjoy while watching the video (or bideo, as my daughter calls it). I opened the box and poured some candy into my hand for Tess. I had plans to have a few of the delicious morsels myself. Tess, however, swiped them all, telling me they were hers, and proceeded to put the whole lot into her little mouth. Selfish. Sinfully selfish.

She will also often resist her mother's efforts at taking care of her. She tells her, no no Mommy. And when asked to do something, she will sometimes become adamant in her defiance, saying, never, never, never, never!  

At other times, Tess will gladly share with her mother and me. She regularly offers me food and toys to enjoy with her. She tells me she loves me sooooooo much! She hugs me, kisses me, and walks me outside to my truck almost every morning. Sometimes she says she will miss me. And when I get home, she normally gets excited about seeing me, and greets me with her fantastic smile and stories about her day with Mommy. It's wonderful.

So why is my daughter so fickle? It's because she bears both the mark of glory and the mark of sin. She is made in the image of God (Ge 1:26ff). But that image has been corrupted by her fall in her first father Adam (Ge 3). Even in us who have the Spirit of God, the flesh lusts against that Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that we do not do the things that we wish (Ga 5:17). For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not (Ro 7:18).

I am so thankful for the remnants of God's image in my precious child. While her selfishness is sometimes grievous, her sweetness is intensely genuine. When she shares with me, or draws me a picture, or hugs my neck, or sings me a song she has made up, it is not in an effort to gain anything. She wants to be good to me because in her own limited way she loves her Daddy. I am forever grateful to God that she does. And I praise Him for the grace that are the remnants of His image within His creatures. May the goodness of God in even the unbelieving cause us to appreciate the truly Good One, in whom are no contradictions.

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