Frank Clark wrote: “A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” My attempt is not to put another meaning into St. Johns words, we know he is speaking to the church; but would a father say less regarding his children. “Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (1:4).
St. John reminds me that my walk is really all about the marks I leave in footprints and finger smudges on the tapestry I’ve been given. Who follows us? Probably someone who was influenced a great deal by us, and how we lived our lives? Sons, daughters, grandchildren, friends, colleagues and a myriad of acquaintances all follow us, but who’s counting – just God! Every man’s work will be revealed (1Corinthians 3:13). “To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless”; said, Henry Cloud. Why must I be responsible for the creatures that possess the power of reason and a free will? It is easier to forgive a dog when he sins than my brother and it is not simply because my dog has a tail. It is because I expect more of my brother because of his power to reason and his free will.
Remember the story of Lazarus? Jesus delayed his arrival and Lazarus died and was buried in the darkness of the cave. The sons, daughters, sisters and brothers not to mention a few colleagues and acquaintances all began to question why Jesus had delayed? Was Jesus perturbed by their attitudes – most definitely; but the scripture says: And Jesus wept. And all the folks said, “See how he loved him” (John 11-35-36). All the folks represent the living, Lazarus, represents how much God loves us. Who’s God perturbed with? Those whom are still living, those who have the opportunity to still make an impact. The natural inclination of man will end in tragedy but is man powerless without options? The story of Lazarus was written to speak directly to us. “Lazarus, come out”; Jesus bellowed these words so all could hear, even into our generation. Aren’t we to speak boldly about the life of Jesus, isn’t he the only option for man? What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4-5).
When I am not at my best, I am still in the eyes of Christ, his child. Therefore, let them say of us: “For they have set out for the sake of the Name (1:7). Ain’t it so!