There’s a wonderful article on the 1517.org today from a pastor named Scott Davis that I thought was just too good not to share a piece of it with you.
He says, “We are all familiar with the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” In this famous tale from Aesop’s Fables, a shepherd boy repeatedly lies to the townspeople. He tells them that a wolf is attacking the village sheep. But when the townspeople investigate, they learn that there never was a wolf. The boy was “sounding the alarm” dishonestly and whipping the people into a false panic when there was no wolf and the sheep weren’t really in danger. After a few rounds of this ruse, a real wolf does appear. The boy cries, “Wolf!” But, the townspeople no longer believe the boy. He’s ruined his credibility with them. This time they don’t take his cry seriously. The sheep are slaughtered and even the boy is eaten by the wolf. The moral of the story is simple: tell the truth. If you lie too often, eventually people won’t listen to you. They won’t believe you when you are honest.
Is God like the townspeople in this fable? Does he eventually grow tired of hearing you confess the same old thing? Does he have a “three strikes and you’re out” policy? Surely he does. Wouldn’t you if you were him?
Here’s what Satan whispers in my ear: God isn’t buying your confession this time. He’s tired of your crap. He forgave you the first time. He forgave you the second and third time. But, at some point he gave up on you. You’ve cried “wolf” one too many times. Even if this time you’re really genuine, it is too late.
But, the truth is God isn’t like the townspeople in the fable. We are. It isn’t that God struggles to believe our repeated cries of “wolf.” Rather, we struggle to believe God when he repeatedly comes to us with forgiveness and mercy on his lips. We believed him when he cried “forgiven and absolved” the first time. We believed him when he cried “justified and adopted” the second time. But, eventually we struggle to believe that His mercy and grace are sufficient.
But, he doesn’t give up. He doesn’t stop shouting.”