God Gives Us Over to Sin, So Did My Dad – Old Post, Recycled

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Family, Mentor, mentoring, Parenting
Note: This is a “Recycled” Blog Post from a few years ago on “The Family Growth Project Blog”…when I first started blogging!  It is kind of a funny story, that over time had a great impact on me spiritually.  A great lesson in parenting and mentoring our kids!

In 1985, I was bulletproof, or so I thought!  One evening, my girlfriend and I were heading back from a date in a neighboring town to drop her off before breaking curfew.  I was cutting it close, as I usually did, so I decided that I could make up some time on the road.  80+ mph, 20 mile drive, 15 minutes to get there…no problem!  We were 2 minutes out with 5 minutes to go when I saw the red lights in the mirrors.  Busted! 

The police officer informed me that he had clocked me at over 80mph about 5 miles back and didn’t seem real happy that I got that far before he caught up with me.  He gave me a ticket, said some not-so-kind words (I thought), and we were on our way…late of course.  To my amazement, her parents didn’t scold us or even say anything about us being late.  Whew!  One down…  

Then my thoughts turned to my dad.  “He is going to freak”, I thought.  That’s when the brilliant idea hit me (remember, I was 17 years old and not wanting to lose my car).  It’s just a ticket.  No need to tell my parents.  It will only upset THEM.  I am doing this for THEM after all!  So I did the most logical thing I could think of…I went to the post office the next morning and set up a Post Office Box.  The officer told me that the court would be mailing me my court date and instructions on paying the penalty (this court was the size of 2 mini-barns and only open for about an hour a week spread over 3 days).  I couldn’t let my parents know about this, especially when I didn’t come clean when it happened. 

A few weeks passed and I finally received the court letter stating I must come to the courthouse (mini-barn) by a certain day to pay the fine.  To do so, I needed to skip school.  So I did, paid the ticket and thought “finally this is over!”  I neglected to close out the P.O. Box and good thing as I received another letter in the mail saying I must attend driving school because of past tickets (yeah this was not my first) and because I was going 25+ mph over the speed limit.  Another lie to keep from my parents…the lies just kept piling up.  During all this time, I had an ache that would not go away and I knew that all these lies and deceptions were the root cause of it.

Fast forward to 1997 or so…I’m married with kids and during a conversation with my dad that stirred up a memory, I decide to come clean on my “little incident” (Another term for LIE).  I explained the whole story from beginning to end and he sat and patiently listened with a smile on his face.  After I had finished, I asked him what the smile was all about.  He said, “I remember that evening well!”  You see, my dad was a firefighter and always had a police/fire scanner going in the house.  He continued, “I heard your name on the scanner and knew about the whole thing.  I was wondering how long you could go without telling me about it.”

After all the lies, the hiding and sneaking around, the cost physically, mentally, spiritually and monetarily, he knew it all from the very beginning.  My dad gave me over to this parade of sin to allow me to grow – to learn from my mistakes.  Even though he didn’t know it, he was modeling Christ to me and years later I am grateful that he allowed me to choose my own path, giving me over to that sin, not judging me into submission, and being patient to allow me to repent and seek forgiveness. 

– Scriptural backing and explanations:
 In Romans, Paul is addressing the believers in Rome.  In Chapter 1, verse 24, Paul writes, “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.”   God gave them over to sin!  Paul states this again in verses 26 with, “…God gave them over to degrading passion;”  And again in Verse 28 with. “…God gave them over to a depraved mind…”  The Romans believers must have thought, “Yeah, those non-believers are animals!”  Then in Chapter 2, verse 1 he says: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  We all sin.  It’s in our very nature.  God gives us over to sin to allow growth to occur in our lives.  Transformation occurs when we align our thoughts with God’s thoughts.  God makes it clear to us: don’t judge because we all sin!

Here’s a breakdown – from scripture and my story:
1) Someone chose an unhealthy path – sin (In my case above – lying to my parents, speeding, hiding things)
2) They are given over to that sin (Dad knew about it and let me work it out)
3) I do not judge them (Dad never judged me before or after I finally came clean)
4) I accept patience and extend kindness to allow repentance to happen (He patiently waited for my repentance)

The key point is the choice you make from the beginning of the conflict.  In the first step, someone chose an unhealthy path, you have a choice; DO I JUDGE THEM (AND IN THE PROCESS GET ANGRY, BLAME THEM AND YELL AT THEM), OR DO I ALLOW THEM TO GROW BY LETTING THEM CHOOSE THEIR OWN PATH.  Choose to judge them and you take yourself down an unhealthy path of anger, blame, resentment, etc.  Choose not to judge them and it not only allows the other person the opportunity for growth, it frees you up from all the baggage that the judgmental thinking brings along.
TEA (Transformation Process – Thoughts create feelings (or Emotion) which result in our Actions) from the Story:

In my story earlier, the Emotions I was experiencing were Fear & Despair.  The Thought’s that I was having were; If I tell my dad he’ll get angry, take my car and yell at me.  He’ll think I was an idiot for driving that way.  I shouldn’t have been speeding.  If I’d been following Christ at the time and understood Transformation, I could have determined the Truth: I messed up and yeah my dad may get angry, take my car, yell and withhold love, but my worth comes from Christ.  I probably deserve whatever consequences my dad has for me.  I will learn from this mistake.  I could then Renew my Mind with Truth: God loves me even when I mess up.  I have an opportunity to grow here and learn from this mistake. 

Now let’s look at this from my dad’s perspective through the four step process:
His Emotion that night might have been Anger, but his Thought was Rob messed up and has some serious consequences.  Let’s see how he handles it.  The Truth that he already understood was in Romans 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

– The Problem becomes The Gift!

You can personalize the scripture to your situation for the renewing of your mind (see Romans 12:2).
James 1:2-4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers (Rob), whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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