“Learn to do good.” Isaiah chapter one, verse seventeen.
If, when you were a child, your parents told you: “learn to play the piano,” would they not be patient with you? Would they expect you to play the piano perfectly after a few lessons? I am not suggesting that they would tolerate your errors, or ignore them, but that they would encourage you to overcome your limitations and, in the meantime, they would be patient with you.
We have, in fact, been told, by the prophet Isaiah: “learn to do good.” I’m sorry, but learning to do good is much harder than learning to play the piano. There are many more complexities and many more competing forces. Our Father in Heaven knows all this, and he is patient with us. He does not tolerate our sins or ignore them. He encourages us to overcome our limitations and in the meantime, he is patient with us. That is why we call him “merciful.”
If our progress in learning to do good is slower than others, we must not become impatient or resentful. Mozart wrote his first symphonies at the age of eight, but most musicians learn much more slowly. Learning to do good is a slow process for most of us. We are a pilgrim people. But, even so, are you an especially slow learner?
“Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew chapter twenty three, verse twelve.