Observe how a sponge mops up a spill.
Discussion point: Use the “sponge” of grace and forgive others even if they don’t ask for it.
Where there are children, there will be spills, be it food, milk or water. Take advantage of a “spill” that takes place in your home by telling your children about “God’s sponge.”
As you are cleaning up the mess, equate the spill with someone doing something wrong – something that hurts you. Use an example that your children will relate to, such as name calling, teasing, pushing or taking a toy without permission.
Explain how to respond in these situations by conveying the following message:
What we do in response to the wrongdoing – the “spill” – is our choice. One option is to splash the spill back into the face of the one who has done wrong. This is like trying to make someone “pay” for the wrong they have done.
The other choice is to get out “God’s sponge” and quietly wipe up the mess without making the other person feel bad about hurting us. Forgiveness happens when the person apologizes for doing wrong and we forgive them. Grace happens when we forgive a person who does not acknowledge that they have done wrong. God offers us both grace and forgiveness.
“…But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. …”
1 Thessalonians 5:15
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”