God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better. Acts 17:30
I’ve heard it since I was little. It’s something that has kept away the guilt and grown my hope–That God, in His infinite love and mercy, overlooks sins committed in innocence, that there’s no penalty for bad deeds born outside of malice and selfishness. But I never quite put a picture to this truth until recently.
It’s like when I was a child. Mom made the rules and set the consequences of breaking said rules. Mom also administered said rules with a tough hand and a fair mind. There simply were no if’s and but’s or okay-just-this-once’s. Mind you, I’m not boo-hooing over a strict childhood. I liked the predictability and certainty of her expectations. It made my growing up disciplined, yet simple and uncomplicated. The system even played a role is making me feel loved–She knew me so well that most always she’d stop me before I broke a rule. But if I did, I definitely had to pay.
Mom was almost always a presence that sort of hovered over me. But every once in a while, she’d leave Dad in charge. Same rules, same consequences, yet I never got in trouble as much when Dad was in charge. Back then, I didn’t understand how and why I got so lucky when Dad was around, but looking back, I can see it clearly now.
Dad focused on the why rather than the what. He saw that I often said and did stuff before thinking about it or processing it. He seemed to know that the deed usually was never premeditated. So while he always said, “I’m going to have to tell Mom about this,” he waived the consequences. It was like he weighed my heart against my deed and found me innocent, a victim of lack of understanding. If my dad were the winking kind of guy, I think he would have added a wink to seal the secret deal between the two of us.
And that’s the picture I have of God. Like my Mom, He’s all no-nonsense, He’s also like my Dad. He overlooks my sins when I don’t know any better. He chalks it up to a lesson learned and then winks it all away.