I was thinking this morning about some sad and difficult discussions I have had with certain people over the last couple of years. When a sinful pattern surfaced, there were always certain things that seemed to follow…
“But I was angry.”
“We were in love, so it was ok.”
“I had a hard day at work.”
“My family life was rotten.”
“I deserve to have fun and be happy.”
“You did the same thing! No, wait, a worse thing!”
“You just don’t understand.”
“It’s not my fault.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Excuses for sin and brokenness over sin can never coexist.
The denial of sin does not erase it.
As long as I offer a “plausible” reason for my disobedience, I am not truly repentant.
As long as I avoid apologizing to those I have hurt by my words or actions, I avoid real repentance. I may say, “I made it right with God, so I don’t need to apologize to them.” But that attitude reveals that, in reality, I have not made it right with God.
As long as I avoid repentance, I avoid growth, grace and fellowship with God.
The apology based upon my own reasoning tries to get me off the hook, but succeeds in driving the barb deeper; true repentance admits you’re stuck, by your own doing, and asks God to pull you free.
Is. 66:2 But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Ps. 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
2 Cor. 7:9-10 I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.