There are times when the phrase, “I’m sorry” is just a phrase of empty insincere words. The words mean nothing, because they’re said out of obligation. Being truly contrite means that we know we’ve done something wrong and feel guilt over it. Because of the shame we feel, we ask for forgiveness. Sometimes we receive it – other times our repentance is ignored. As I mentioned the other day, we often spew words that have no real value. We say them because we feel obliged to do so. We put a sad face emoji on an email and expect everything to be fine.
The way we react to another’s sadness over something that made us unhappy – the hurt we feel when attacked by another’s tongue – the depths of despair when someone wrongly accuses us – shows how very human we are.
God, on the other hand, can’t wait for our repentance. It seems such a small thing, but when we sincerely ask for forgiveness, He is overjoyed. It makes me wonder why we’re so afraid to ask forgiveness from one another. Maybe because we know that our fellow man doesn’t possess that unconditional love required to forgive. Maybe we fear being rejected. Maybe we simply don’t like to admit we’ve done something wrong.
What does God say about repentance? He expects it. In order for us to receive all the benefits of His kingdom, we must come before Him with contrite hearts – begging for forgiveness – truly regretting our ability to keep His commandments – but also fully confident that He has given us a way out of that dilemma. He sent His only Son to be our Rescuer – our Champion – the One whose body was slain for our salvation.
When we forgive another person, it frees us from anger, hatred and a whole assortment of emotions, When God forgives us – we are the ones we no longer carry the weight of sin. He gives us that freedom without cost. He gives it because we say we’re sorry.
God I know that I’ve fallen short of your commandments. I also know that your love for me is limitless. You ask only one thing of me – my sincere repentance. I’m sorry for not placing my complete trust in You. I can’t even begin to say all the things I’m sorry for, but I know that your have invited me to lay my sins on Jesus and that through Him I will receive your forgiveness. Help me always to follow His example in my life and though I am free, allow me to be a servant for your name’s sake. Amen!