• Karen Pennington

It's Not My Fault! A Toddler Lesson in Redemption

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

The "terrible twos" never looked so cute as they do on my granddaughter. She never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me with her toddler bouts of- well- toddlerness. The other day she reached on even higher summit of cleverness in her mischief.


It was my husband's birthday. A friend from church had just stopped by with a "drive by blessing," which I put on the middle of the dining room table. It was a well wrapped birthday gift in three layers: the wrapping paper gift, form fitted into the bottom of a gift bag, with several layers of tissue paper on top.


I briefly walked into the next room to talk to my daughter on the phone. All it took was about five seconds for my girl, who is all of about 40 inches tall, to pull off the greatest birthday gift heist in preschool history. Short of invisible stilts or the superpower of elongating her figure to a higher height, I'm still not sure how she reached the gift on the dining room table. But in the seconds it took me to run in from the next room, she had:


...gotten down the gift off the center of the dining room table,


...dragged it to the living room,


...put it on the coffee table,


...removed the tissue paper,


...taken out the wrapped gift,


...and unwrapped the gift.


I looked at her in disbelief and called out her name, to which she replied, "It's not my fault!"


Did I mention that she's two? Her birthday was less than three months ago. At this moment I didn't know whether to be impressed or worried at her skill. Either way, I laughed, though I probably shouldn't have done so. She now has a new catch phrase, one she repeated over and over throughout dinner. Even then only her father had the presence of mind to tell her not to keep saying that (while the rest of us fought back the smirks... she's just so cute).


When I told her parents about her actions and words, her father said "She has never said that before. Where did she hear that?" After a bit of thought I wondered if there was a place in her life where she hadn't heard it, or at least experienced the sentiment.


Who among us has not at times gotten defensive at times when faced with out own blatant guilt? Who hasn't had a time when we pointed the finger at others rather than taking ownership of our own responsibility when things go wrong?


I suppose this comes as a natural defense mechanism, and attempt to shield ourselves from unpleasant consequences. The crazy thing is that when fail to confess and repent before God, the exact opposite happens. 1 John 1:8-10 puts it this way:


"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."


Rather than protecting us from consequences, our proud refusal to confess and repent actually prevents us from receive the forgiveness, healing, and restoration that God has for us. What a promise! What a warning!


I don't know about you, but to me the inner decay that self-deceit and sin brings about does not sound good. I'd rather be healed. Deep down we all would. That is why God give us the gifts of confession and repentance, which ultimately lead to God's healing and redemption.

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