God Loves a Tattletale

My husband does shift work, so often he’s at work at night. He loves it when our daughters send him text messages to say goodnight. The other night, while my husband was working, I let one of my daughters stay up to get some homework done. She had plenty of chances to get it done over the weekend, but she didn’t. She really didn’t use her time very well, and she knew it—and we knew it.

The next morning, my husband came home and told me that he had gotten a text message from our daughter at 11:00 p.m. and that he was going to talk to her about how she had ended up being up that late by not using her time well over the weekend. During their conversation in which he confronted her on her time-management skills, he mentioned that he wouldn’t have known how late she was up if she hadn’t texted him. Her reply, “Dad, I knew that, but it didn’t change the fact that I wanted to tell you goodnight and that I love you.” Was she trying to butter her old dad up? Get the sentence reduced? Not this time—it was the real deal.

My daughter was so confident in how much her daddy loves her that she knew that she could tattle on herself.

And two important truths struck me about my daughter’s response. First, she knew that her dad knew about her failure. Don’t we know that too? We know that God already knows what we’ve done. But my usual response is to see if I can hide it anyway. My daughter; however, was so confident in how much her daddy loves her that she knew that she could tattle on herself. She knew there might be a hard conversation; she knew there might be consequences, and yet, she ratted herself out anyway. Why? Because she knew it would be OK. She knew the discipline would be in love (Heb 12:6). How often do I avoid God because I just don’t want to deal with my sin? Because I’m afraid I’ll somehow let him down? Because it’s just easier for me to pretend it didn’t happen? How confident am I in God’s love for me?

What if we loved God everyday in such a way that we weren’t willing to let our sin or our failures keep us from saying, “I love you, daddy.”?

Second, she was more driven by her love for her daddy than by her own comfort or the desire to hide her sin. My daughter knows how much her daddy loves being thought of while he’s at work. What if we loved God everyday in such a way that we weren’t willing to let our sin or our failures keep us from saying, “I love you, daddy.”? For the Christian, there is no reason we can’t do that. Because of Jesus, there is no wall between us and our Father—there is nothing that we can’t bring to his feet (Heb 4:16). He longs to show us mercy and compassion (Isa 30:18) and he loves us with a great and steadfast love (Ps 103:11). God loves us and he delights in being loved by us—so much so that we can tattle on ourselves.

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