Why Should I Say Sorry?
Yesterday I realized I made a mistake in taking action on something I thought someone told me. When I realized I had heard them wrong, I had to start searching my heart. Did I really hear them wrong? Or did I just omit the information that I didn’t initially want to hear in hopes that they really meant what I wanted them to mean? The person I was dealing with was not a believer, and so I was even more nervous about their ability to forgive. So, I went back, apologized and kept this verse in my head while doing so. “A broken & contrite heart Oh God you will not despise.” I figured, if I go in with this in mind, even though they are not God, nor likely to respond the way he does, at least I’ll be using this opportunity to restore my relationship with God. Even if my apology fails to accomplish results on earth, I’m still acting out of faith and trust in God.
I think these kinds of instances are the means God uses to bring us back to him and give an example to the world of the right way to live. If there was a way to keep right with God without having a continually broken spirit that would be awesome, but since we still have sin to deal with, I don’t think it’s possible. Therefore, the longer I live with a contrite spirit, and the quicker I return there after I’ve left, the more relationships are restored. The more I respond in contriteness of heart, the more faith is built and lived out, and the more our speech is full of grace seasoned with salt – letting some in the world smell the fragrance of life. Hopefully the person who heard my “sorry” will smell something good.
How else does God give us a broken and contrite spirit other than through our sin & mistakes? Psalm 51 talks about the sacrifices of God being a broken & contrite spirit. Even King David knew that in an age when the law said that sacrifices of animals had to be made, this what not what made God happy. He knew that even though he was required to make them, and that God wanted them to happen, these were not the things that moved God’s heart. In a moment of pain and regret David comes to God with a repentant heart. As he’s regretting his sin with Bathsheba he feels his need to get right with God and thinking of ways to restore that relationship says, “you do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it.” He’s trying to find a way to mend things, and in this state of heart and motivation, searches, thinks and finds something that God will accept. “A broken & contrite heart oh God you will not despise.” While some may try to hide their sin by offering sacrifices & burnt offerings that try to mask their own feelings of repentance and cover their sin, David knows that that these are only a mask and God hates when we put on a mask. David knows that honesty with God is an investment in relationship restoration. So, he’s honest and repentant with God.
Sky Cady | South Umpqua Campus Pastor