My sweet Little Mama had that mother knowledge. You know what I mean. The hair stands up on the back of your neck when your kid tells a lie. We used to say she had eyes in the back of her head, because she always seemed to know when we were acting out in some big or small way.
And she had a unique way of helping us understand forgiveness. There were five of us kids, so rarely would a day go by without some sort of argument breaking out. Once, when I was eight or nine, I asked her what she wanted for Mother’s Day and she replied with a sigh, “Just a day without fighting.” Not sure if that ever happened, but I remember it being a goal among us.
When a spat broke out, she’d sit us in chairs, face to face. She made us each say we were sorry to the other, whether we were the offended party or not. The temptation was high to just say the words and move on about our day, but oh no. Little Mama wanted more. So she’d say, “Now, you just sit there and look at each other until enough forgiveness fills your heart. When that happens, give each other a kiss.” Now, listen y’all. You can muster up a hug even when somebody pulls your hair or pushes you down. But a kiss? A kiss has to come from bein’ over a thing. A kiss has to come from the heart.
See, she knew how capable we were of lip service. Just saying something to move on, but not really letting go. That’s lip service. I got curious about that phrase, so I looked up the origin. And don’t you know, it comes from the Bible!
Matthew 15:8–9 (NIV) addresses those who merely speak a thing without really meaning it. “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
Romans 12:9 (NIV) says it this way, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
We may fully understand justice, but mercy is what God’s people need a full grasp of. God’s economy is always upside down from mankind’s. Learn to live upside down, friends.
Who might God be calling you to give a kiss to today? You know what I mean.