12/26/15: Confessions and Apologies
In the sixteenth chapter of The Revelation, seven angels are allowed to pour the wrath of God upon the earth and all kinds of bad stuff starts happening:
- foul and loathsome sores break out on those who have taken the mark of the beast upon themselves,
- the sea becomes blood and all the sea creatures die,
- the rivers and springs become blood so there’s no water to drink,
- the sun is affected so that it scorches people with its heat,
God is obviously perturbed and you would think the people on earth would get the message; yet, not so. Read their reaction, “They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” Revelation 16:11 (NKJ).
Not much had changed in hundreds of years. Just a few generations after Adam and Eve plundered mankind into sin, humans had gotten so rotten that we hear God saying, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh…” And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” Genesis 6:3 and 6 (NKJ). God’s next thought was to just wipe everybody out. After all, He was well capable to start all over again. “So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them’” Genesis 6:7 (NKJ).
To what lengths do we push God before we decide to confess and repent? And by extension, to what lengths do we push our family and friends before we tell them we are sorry for something we’ve done that has hurt them? You see, confession is not only about us. Confession and repentance have to do with the person we have wronged. Yes, we ought feel bad about our wrongdoing, but a true confession has to do with the fact that we have hurt the other person, we feel his or her pain, and repentance comes in when we will make every effort to keep from doing that same thing again. It is not an apology to say, “I’m sorry you feel bad.” It is an apology to say, “I know I hurt you when I…, I did a wrong thing when I…, and I will not do it again.”
Our maturity as children of God can be measured by the length of time it takes us from the recognition of our sin to our confession and repentance. The shorter the time, the more mature we are becoming. Rather than going through levels of denial and arguments of justification, once we become aware we have sinned — that means we’ve hurt God or our fellow-man — our commitment to Christ ought to compel us to immediately confess it before God and turn from it. And if God is trying to get our attention through some form of discipline He’s sent, it’s a great idea to submit to His chastening quickly.
Why are we okay with hurting our spouses, children, other family members, and friends? Can we really blame people for having the thought like God had, I’m sorry I’m in this relationship.? Let’s not be the ones who fall under God’s wrath or move Him to say He’s sorry He made us.
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