I saw Adele once. I was sitting in a little secret garden near my flat, with two toddlers, and she and her friends were right next to us – the only other party in the place. What a day! That’s Chelsea for you.
I really like Adele’s new single, Easy On Me. And never mind me, it’s already broken several streaming records and promises to be a big hit. She’s done it again. The tune; that voice. She’s amazing.
I’ve been thinking (as I do) about the lyrics: ‘Go Easy on Me, I was just a child, didn’t get the chance…’ She’s asking for understanding, for a bit of slack. ‘Bear with me.’
I suppose what she could ask instead is, ‘Forgive me.’ As my husband said, that would be a shorter song. No excuses, just a simple request.
As I see the things that trend on social media, especially for tired mums, and hear what is preached to our children in school and on TV, I notice a lot of ‘Go easy on me’ and very little, if any, actual forgiveness. I’m sure I’m not the only
It can seem harsh to say, ‘You’re wrong and you need to say sorry.’ But is ‘Go easy on yourself’ or ‘Don’t feel bad, you’re tired/young/trying your best’ actually kind?
If all I’ve got is excuses, I will spend my life trying to convince myself (never mind others) that I’m a good enough person. ‘Yes, that was a mistake but I didn’t know any better’ or ‘I did what I thought was right’ or ‘I was overwhelmed.’ This isn’t liberating. It’s a burden to carry with me for the rest of my life.
And it’s not the gospel.
Instead, if I look back at my ‘mistakes’ and regrets and say:
‘I was wrong, I’m so sorry.’
‘I was selfish, please forgive me.’
‘That wasn’t loving, I apologise.’
Then, the floodgates of God’s mercy open, and his grace washes over me, and I am clean.
When I make excuses for my children, I think I’m being kind but I’m not teaching them grace. Instead, I can teach them to own up to their sin, to confess it, and to receive forgiveness.
“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.” 1 John 1:8-9.
I hope Adele can find true forgiveness. And I hope we can teach our children what freedom there is in holding our hands up and saying, ‘Fair cop. My bad. I’m wrong. Please forgive me.’