Not too long ago I apologized to Ryan when I arrived home later than Ryan had asked me to be home so that he could leave for a meeting.
I said, "I'm sorry."
He responded: "No you're not. Otherwise you wouldn't do it anymore."
Not because the words themselves were hurtful, but rather because they were truthful.
And sometimes the truth is hard to swallow.
I tend to be late and my tardiness impacts others. When my husband asks me to be home at a certain time, it is rude and disrespectful of me to not honor what he has asked me to do. My tardiness tells others that their schedule is not as important as my schedule is.
There are times in our lives when we come to a T in the road. We have the opportunity to go to the left or go to the right. One way is the road we've been on. The other road is a new road.
I believe it's the road of repentance and change.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."
Our culture often focuses on worldly sorrow and
worldly grief. It is sorrow that is self focused. It says, "I'm sorry" to
make the other person feel better or to make the offender feel better because he/she apologized. But it lacks repentance. It is about
guilt and regret. Worldly sorrow is about me.
Godly grief and Godly sorrow lead us to repentance - a change in our hearts, our actions, our words. A change in our decision making and our choices. A change in our priorities. A change that ensures our actions align with our beliefs. Godly sorrow means we want to change our sinful ways. Godly sorrow is God-directed. We are sorry because we sinned against God first and foremost.
Repentance involves turning from our old ways and beginning anew. Marriages. Addictions. Finances. Lifestyle choices.
Repentance isn't about feeling shameful or guilty. It's about choosing to make a change. It's about turning from sin and turning directly into the arms of Jesus. We cannot truly repent without involving God. Any 'sorry' without God is just worldly grief about our actions.
You might be standing at a T in your life right now. Maybe it's the first time. Maybe it's the 50th time.
There is a sign labeled "guilt, shame and regret." And there's another that says, "repentance." Which is really just a fancy word for turning from your old ways and choosing new life.
I'm at a T and I need to do some business with God. My lack of repentance is causing hurt to those I love and has led me on a road I don't want to be on.
I imagine some of you reading this are at a T as well. Like me, you've focused far too long on self.