Hey Mr. Jeffrey,
Does God have empathy for His children if they make mistakes or if they're growing slowly, or does He just want us to be mature and not make any mistakes at all right off the bat? If a child of God desires to grow but allows distractions and other things to inhibit growth, does God have any sympathy for that or does He get angry at that type of behavior?
"Empathy" means to share the feelings of another person. I think you meant "sympathy" which means to have sorrow for another person's problems. Jesus understands our weaknesses. "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
God expects people to make mistakes. "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us" (I John 1:6-10). This doesn't excuse our sins. "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). However, God is sympathetic to our struggles. That is why He offered ways for us to be forgiven of sin, even after we become Christians.
"Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord" (I Peter 2:1-3).
Parents of children know their children will make mistakes. When they try to walk, you know they will fall down. Parents feel sorry when their children find a task difficult, but they keep pushing the child to grow and develop because they know that ultimately it will be good for them. The same thing happens when we face trials of temptation. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Sometimes it seems to take a long time for you or me to learn from our mistakes, but we should keep trying. If a person refuses to grow, then that becomes a different matter. Mistakes happen, but we are supposed to learn from our mistakes. A person who refuses to learn is a fool. "He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding" (Proverbs 15:31-32).
Wow! Thank you very much for helping me with that and also the scriptures! Makes sense!