On Redundancy

Put your shoes on the shoe bench. Put your clothes all the way into the hamper. Brothers are our first best friends. Take it down a few notches. 

If someone were to shadow me, the tally of times I say these phrases weekly and daily would be astronomical.

I wish I could say that I am not annoyed by redundancy, by the sheer fact that simply saying something one time (or a hundred) does not make it stick. However, these phrases often come out of my mouth tainted and tempered with the impatience that lies latent within my heart.


How many times must we repeat the phrases and fight for the principles that are valuable to us?  I think Jesus may have answered this question similarly to the question regarding how many times the disciples ought to forgive their brothers. Seventy times seven, which, to the Hebrew mind, would have suggested the same as “Infinity times infinity.”

The only thing that tempers my temper regarding redundancy is the Lord’s gracious redundancy toward His children. Knowing how often the Holy Spirit has to lead my forgetful and fretting heart back to the same passages promising the peace of Christ takes the edge out of my voice when I have to redundantly train and retrain my children.

Motherhood is redundant. Training is redundant. Discipleship is redundant. And well they should be, for repetitive sin requires a redundancy of grace.

Only months after having established a fledgling Church at Galatia, Paul had to write a zinger of a letter to them to remind them of the same things he had just so recently and clearly expounded to them. They were forgetting the gospel already; however, Paul wisely recognized that these were his spiritual children and that children need reminding again and again. And again.

My little children, with whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. Galatians 4: 19. 

When I tempted to grow bitter at the redundancy of raising children, both spiritual and physical, this Scripture comes to mind. Tagging along behind this verse, a long chain of people appears. People, who not only worked that I have manners and respect, but also patiently labored and continue to labor until Christ be formed more fully in me.

The link running through all these different people is the Rescuer, Jesus, who was familiar with redundancy.

His is the redundancy of a Redeemer, one ready to remind His children over and over again whatever is true, honorable, just, lovely, commendable, excellent and praise worthy, namely the great exchange on the Cross which became the Good News.

In light of His patient and persistent training of me, the redundancy inherent to the role of mother or disciple-maker seems like a drop in the ocean.

May we redundantly sing His praises until we no longer need to remember the gospel because we will know fully, even as we are fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).



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