As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him (Psa. 103:13)

I wonder how true this metaphor is in today’s world. Not only do we live in a fatherless world where many men beget children but take no responsibility for them, but where many children suffer at the hands of fatherless fathers who don’t know how to be good fathers to their sons and daughters.

God made fathers to represent Him to their children until they are old enough to understand who God is. The sad thing is that people often reject God because their dads put them off Him. Instead of believing in Him as a compassionate Father, they only see Him through the lens of their own fathers’ failures. They turn away from Him and try to fill the void with people and things that can never take His place.

Louie Giglio said that God is a not a “blown up” version of our earthly fathers. He is not like us as all – at least not like us after Adam sinned and became independent from Him. He created us to be like Him but we chose to go our own way and messed up His plan.

To get past our dads’ failures to know God as a compassionate Father, we must first acknowledge that our fathers are or were as imperfect as we are. How do we deal with their human frailties? We forgive. We don’t have to make excuses for them or for what they did or failed to do. We cancel their debt because God has cancelled ours.

We must let it all go for two reasons. Firstly, we forgive because Jesus paid their debt as well as ours and forgives all sin – theirs and ours. Secondly, God wants us to be merciful to others because He has been merciful to us. How can we hold unforgiveness in our hearts when He has been kind to us? The debt our fathers owe us is small compared with the unpayable debt we owed God.

When we have dealt with the baggage of our father’s debt that we have carried around in our hearts, we will recognise the Father’s love and compassion for us first of all in Jesus, His Son and then in the many “kisses” He gives us every day.

Just imagine how wonderful it will be when you are no longer angry with your father. You’ll be able to enjoy your heavenly Father’s love and favour to the full because He is the perfect Abba and He loves you with perfect love.

Luella Campbell

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