Read: 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

A common experience for many of us growing up was getting busted by our parents after doing something wrong and apologizing, only to have them respond with, “You are not sorry for what you did. You are sorry you got caught.” While you are frustrated that they didn’t accept your apology, you also know they were 100% right. You were only saying sorry to try and get out of trouble. We have all been there.

Repentance should come from the core of who you are. When you repent, let it not be out of obligation but out of the realization that Jesus hung on the cross because of our sin. You and I put him there. If our repentance sounds like the mundane “Sorry, mom” to get out of trouble, then we need to sit and reflect on what our sin truly means: that Jesus suffered and was crucified for that sin. That should bring us to our knees. The creator of the universe, on a cross for you and me. I think there is great wisdom in hearing the anguish in King David’s tone as he comes before God in repentance in Psalm 51:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

King David was aware that he was not deserving or worthy of the Father’s forgiveness. He was aware that there was nothing he could do to earn it. He realized that to be in good standing with God, there is no place for unconfessed sin. The dark and light cannot coexist. Out of his desire to be in good relationship with the Father, he was desperate for the grace of God.

I challenge you, wherever you are, to ask God to break your heart for what breaks his. Be reminded of the crucifixion that Christ took on in order to cleanse you from your sin. Be bold enough to pray this prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Reflection Questions:

  1. How can you distinguish between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow in your life?
  2. Why is it important to experience godly sorrow that leads to repentance?
  3. How can you ensure that your repentance is genuine and rooted in godly sorrow?